The Benefits and Hazards of Outdoor Exercise

Internal blog 6Exercising in polluted air can increase the risk of asthma, heart attack and stroke. But is avoiding a workout any better?

Rather than exercise outside on bad-air days, many people choose to go to a gym, use a treadmill or skip the workout altogether. Those options work most of the time, but what about when a person must choose between canceling a long awaited sporting event or a bicycle trip because of the air quality index? In situations such as these, is exercising in polluted air worse than not exercising at all?

That is a question that scientist are currently researching. There are early indications that the potent anti-inflammatory effects of frequent exercise actually neutralize the damage caused by air pollution. It sounds counterintuitive: Exercise means breathing deeper, which means more particles bypass the nasal filtering and lodge lower down in the airway. But recent studies suggest exercise may actually offset the negative effects of breathing polluted air.

Using epidemiological data, Netherlands’ researchers recently discovered the air-pollution effects of changing from a car to a bicycle for quick trips in air-polluted municipalities would subtract between 0.8 and forty days from a person’s average life span. However, the extra exercise would prolong that person’s average life span by three to fourteen months.

All activity is beneficial, but exercising outdoors has been proven to have the added benefit of affecting a person’s mental wellbeing. Exercise helps to reduce stress, relieve anxiety and depression. Exercising outside in the fresh air and sunshine can give an added boost to a person’s overall sense of wellbeing.

The health benefits of exercise appear to outweigh any added risk. Of course, not everyone suffers or benefits equally. Genetics play a major role in a person’s health, so individuals and their doctors should take that into account when determining the pros and cons of outdoor exercise, especially during days when the air quality index is high.

Understanding Your Moving Quote: An Interview with Nationwide Relocation Services

Nationwide Relocation ServicesA team of experienced movers at Nationwide Relocation Services stands ready to assist customers with all of their moving needs. Nationwide Relocation Services begins this process by providing an in-depth quote that describes each cost associated with a project. Recently, a spokesperson from Nationwide Relocation Services answered a few of our questions about what to look for when receiving a moving quote.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s the first step in receiving an accurate quote?

Nationwide Relocation Services: An individual should speak directly to the mover or estimator, and then request a written quote. [Read more…]

Phillip Elden on the Special Privilege of Being a Mazama

Phillip EldenAccording to Phillip Elden, one of the most enjoyable experiences of his life was joining the mountaineering group Mazama. Since becoming a member of the organization, Phillip Elden has embraced the responsibility of sharing information that benefits residents and visitors alike. In this interview, Phillip Elden provides a summary of all the programs and services offered by the program. [Read more…]

Dave Contarino on the Cost of Training a Horse for the Kentucky Derby

Thoroughbred horseAccording to Dave Contarino, the odds of owning a horse that participates in the Kentucky Derby are extremely slim. Dave Contarino has rooted for both leading contenders and long shots at Churchill Downs in his lifetime. Here, Dave Contarino provides insight into the enormous undertaking of training a horse for this prestigious event. [Read more…]

Scott Sohr: Tennessee History Preserved Through Giving

Scott Sohr NashvilleMiddle Tennessee real estate developer Scott Sohr is known for his modern homes set amidst cozy hybrid urban-rural settings. With properties including Arrington and Courtside at Southern Woods to his credit, Scott Sohr is a man who obviously knows how to integrate the best of Tennessee into his residential developments. Today, Scott Sohr opens up about two points of inspiration for his work and says that Tennessee’s historic landmarks are at the mercy of the giving spirit. Thanks for joining us this evening.

Scott Sohr: My pleasure. Today our topic is historic homes in Nashville. Which ones are worth a visit?

Scott Sohr: My two favorites are the Belle Mead Planation and Belmont Mansion. Tell us about them?

Scott Sohr: Belle Mead Plantation is a former equine breeding and horseracing grounds. It was built in 1807 by John Harding, whose name is familiar to anyone who’s driven through Nashville. And Belmont?

Scott Sohr: Belmont is today known for the college that bares its name. But the Belmont mansion has a history that goes well beyond education. Yes, it’s notable for military occupation as well, correct?

Scott Sohr: Before the Battle of Nashville, Gen. Thomas J. Wood and his troops occupied the home. Remarkably, the residence wasn’t damaged. Are these two homes still open for tours?

Scott Sohr: They are, and both are constantly undergoing renovations. Who funds these preservation efforts?

Scott Sohr: The reconstruction and archaeological projects are mostly paid for by private donation, tour fees, and memberships fees for their respective societies. How can visitors help?

Scott Sohr: The Belmont Mansion Association offers a number of membership options. These include a $25 individual membership all the way up to a $1,500 lifetime membership. What do members receive?

Scott Sohr: Free admission and gift shop discounts along with a subscription to the Mansion’s newsletter and invitations to special events not available to the public. Most of all, members get the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped secure the past for their children and their children’s children. What about Belle Meade Plantation?

Scott Sohr: This landmark has a similarly structured membership program. You mentioned archeological projects at these sites. Can you explain?

Scott Sohr: Most recently, at Belmont, the school was getting ready to erect a new pharmacy school on the grounds. It was discovered that there was more evidence of the former zoo than previously thought. So, the area is being observed before construction?

Scott Sohr: Yes. The area around the bear pit will be surveyed, documented, and photographed before the school continues. Before we close, can you tell our readers how they can connect with Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation?

Scott Sohr: The easiest is online at and



Kris Krohn: The Conscious Creator

Kris KrohnKris Krohn is a well-known real estate investor, investment coach and author. As the founder of Strongbrook Direct, he has developed real estate investment formulas that have helped people achieve financial stability by generating residual income. Here Kris Krohn discusses concepts from his bestselling new book, The Conscious Creator, co-authored with Stephen Palmer.

A Gathering of Experts: Kris Krohn, thank you for talking with us.

Kris Krohn: It’s my pleasure.

A Gathering of Experts: Your new book is making a lot of waves. One Amazon reviewer states, “I’m impressed by how effectively The Conscious Creator teaches the principles of success. In my opinion, it is the best book in the entire manifesting genre.” That’s quite high praise.

Kris Krohn: Well, I am humbled by the response we’re getting, but more importantly I am very excited about the positive impact the book is having on people’s lives!

A Gathering of Experts: In a nutshell, tell us what the book says.

Kris Krohn: Absolutely. Basically, we have discovered that there are “Six Laws of Conscious Creation.” Our future doesn’t just happen to us, we participate in creating it.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you break them down for us?

Kris Krohn: Yes. The first law is what we call the law of attraction. You attract into your life what you think about most. Your dominant and persistent thoughts eventually manifest as physical reality.

A Gathering of Experts: You’re using the word “manifest” to mean “appear,” right?

Kris Krohn: Yes. What you think about most eventually becomes reality.

A Gathering of Experts: And what’s the second law?

Kris Krohn: It is the law of purpose. Your desires and actions must be manifestations of your “true self” to achieve your highest potential. Your true self embodies the highest, most accurate truth from which you can create at your greatest potential. Conscious creators know who they are and what they were born to accomplish.

A Gathering of Experts: That is profound. Where does that take us next?

Kris Krohn: It leads to the third law, the law of choice and accountability. Your perception of reality is a choice, not a condition, and your experience is your creation, whether you realize it or not. The more accountability you take for your reality, the greater power you have to change it.

A Gathering of Experts: And that leads to a next step? 

Kris Krohn: Yes, it necessitates the law of alignment. Everything you think, say and do must align with what you want to manifest. The more closely your beliefs are aligned with truth, the greater power you have to manifest your creations.

A Gathering of Experts: This kind of thinking requires positivity, I would suppose? 

Kris Krohn: Yes, it does. It requires faith, as in the law of faith. Conscious creators work with complete faith that they can manifest their desires, and they act on that faith with courage, despite having little or no evidence from past accomplishments.

A Gathering of Experts: What about those inevitable setbacks that occur?

Kris Krohn: They require patience. The law of gestation tells us that there is a natural gestation period for all acts of creation. The greater the goal, the longer the gestation period.

A Gathering of Experts: What other ideas have sprung from this mode of thinking?

Kris Krohn: Basically it’s like this: You possess the power to call anything into creation that you want. So if you want more success, diagnose where you are now in life and learn how to go to the next level. It requires some introspection. Learn who you are and what will fulfill you.

A Gathering of Experts: And how does this affect your work world?

Kris Krohn: In short, if you manifest what you think about, why not make a living doing what you love? That ensures maximum success.

A Gathering of Experts: Leave us with a few final thoughts. 

Kris Krohn: The Conscious Creator is a parable for your life and path to success. A paragraph from the book puts it well: “Living your passion and achieving your dreams is not an easy path. It’s a path full of struggle. It comes with its share of heartache. But it’s what you were born for. It’s the only path worthy of your heritage. And with all my heart and soul, I promise you this: The journey is worth it.”

Real estate investor and entrepreneur Kris Krohn attends conferences and seminars across the country promoting The Strait Path to Real Estate Wealth, his simple but effective guide to financial strategy.

Debunking Health Myths

10.10.13 - health myths waterBottled water is of higher quality and healthier for us—correct? Experts say that isn’t necessarily true. If your water is from a public water supply, check with the local water department to see if the water is tested regularly for coliform bacteria, nitrate or other contaminants. Ask for the latest report on your community’s water supply. You will probably discover the water is just as safe as that in the designer bottles selling for several dollars each. If you prefer the taste of bottled water, consider buying a cost-effective water filtration system, rather than buying by the bottle.

Sugar-free drinks are a terrific diet aid—right? As recent studies reveal, perhaps not. Experiments show that when you eat something sweet, your brain receives the message that you are consuming sugar and responds with insulin. The sugar that is already in your blood is routed to fat cells to make room for the incoming sugar. When the sugar doesn’t arrive, your body is confused. It wants to replenish the sugar level in the blood. Suddenly you feel hungry again. Recent experiments have shown that, because real sugar gives you energy and fake sugar makes you weak (causes a drop in blood sugar level), you eat more and gain weight. If your primary interest is in losing weight, you may want to reconsider those sugar-free items.*

Fat is a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs—true? Actually, the body needs some fat in order to absorb nutrients, but make sure the fats you are consuming are good fats. Whether you are watching your weight for health reasons or simply to lose a few pounds, make sure eat good fats in order to ensure you absorb the nutrients your body needs. Avocado, olive oil and goat cheese are all good fats when consumed in small quantities. A fat-free diet is counterproductive because when your body, aided by small amounts of good fat, absorbs nutrients, you will be less hungry, eat less, and lose weight naturally.

*Note: Not all sugar-free substitutes are the same. People with diabetes should check with their doctor regarding sugar substitutes.

Green Water Technologies on Saving Money With Pro Elite Systems

Green-Water-TechnologiesProElite_Web_2-4Green Water Technologies is a distributor of water services and equipment for consumers across the United States. In this brief interview, Green Water Technologies explains how people can save money by using a Pro Elite System, a high-efficiency professional water treatment system certified by Energy Star that will combat hard water in the home.

A Gathering of Experts: What are some of the benefits of softened water?

Green Water Technologies: Some benefits include improved shampoo lather, reduced film and stains on shower walls, and fewer spots on dishes.

A Gathering of Experts: Is there a financial benefit as well?

Green Water Technologies: Softening water can save both money and energy.

A Gathering of Experts: How so?

Green Water Technologies: Several independent studies have indicated that softened water keeps appliances running for a longer time period while making pipes cleaner.

A Gathering of Experts: What impact does the system have on daily activities?

Green Water Technologies: It greatly reduces the amount of detergent required for cleaning, and allows people to clean clothes and dishes at decreased temperatures.

A Gathering of Experts: This must drastically reduce heating bills.

Green Water Technologies: Very true. Water heaters will also lose efficiency with the presence of hard water.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there statistics that show the difference?

Green Water Technologies: In gas water heaters, each five grains per gallon of hardness will cause an 8 percent loss of efficiency, along with an 8 percent increase in cost, according to the Water Quality Association. This is based on the usage of 100 gallons of hot water each day.

A Gathering of Experts: That’s incredible.

Green Water Technologies: Not to mention that faucets and showerheads have proven to last longer in the presence of softened water.

A Gathering of Experts: How was the quality of the showerhead?

Green Water Technologies: One particular study found that showerheads with the presence of softened water were able to maintain a wonderful luster as well as full flow.

A Gathering of Experts: And that stands in contrast with showerheads with hard water?

Green Water Technologies: Yes, those showerheads lost up to 75 percent of their flow rate within the next 18 months.

A Gathering of Experts: What about when doing laundry?

Green Water Technologies: Researchers ran clothes washers and dishwashers for 30 days, with a total of 240 wash cycles that used hard water and softened sources.

A Gathering of Experts: What did they find?

Green Water Technologies: Units that used softened water exhibited almost no scale buildup.

A Gathering of Experts: But hard water was much different?

Green Water Technologies: It was. Units that ran on hard water showed a buildup of both scale and deposits.

A Gathering of Experts: It sounds like softened water should be the goal for all homeowners.

Green Water Technologies: Absolutely. It’s truly the best thing for anyone’s home.

For more information on water softening devices, Green Water Technologies encourages consumers to explore their website at


YOR Health Products Activate Digestion With Enzymes

YOR Health ProductsYOR Health was founded in 2008 in Irvine, California, to help health conscious people achieve optimum health and well-being. Today, YOR Health products span the globe, with members throughout America, Mexico, Australia and other countries. YOR Health products offer exclusive patented features that provide real solutions and proven results. In order to have the highest quality YOR Health products, YOR Health determines the precise amount and type of natural enzymes required to improve nutritional status. In the following interview with A Gathering of Experts, the YOR Health products team explains why healthy digestion is the key to overall health and how YOR Health products aid achieving it.

A Gathering of Experts: Welcome, and thank you for joining us today.

YOR Health Products Team: It’s a pleasure to be here.

A Gathering of Experts: What are enzymes and what do they do for us?

YOR Health Products Team: Enzymes are proteins responsible for delivering and eliminating ingredients and chemicals the body uses daily. Enzymes found in the digestive tract help break down molecules into smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate absorption into the body.

A Gathering of Experts: What happens if our bodies don’t get enough enzymes?

YOR Health Products Team: If the proper amount and required type of enzymes are not available for digestion, our bodies not only become toxic from the leftover waste, but nutrients have no carrier to be delivered to the rest of the body.

A Gathering of Experts: What are the ramifications?

YOR Health Products Team: Our energy levels start to drop and our health slowly deteriorates. This is the reason many health ailments are initially a dietary mistake amplified by poor digestion.

A Gathering of Experts: Is digestive disorder a common problem?

YOR Health Products Team: Yes. More than 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders that interfere with their work and their lives. More Americans can be hospitalized for digestive diseases than for any other type of illness. The National Institute of Health reported that 4.5 million Americans are constipated most or all of the time. In the U.S., more than 2.5 million people visit the doctor annually because of constipation.

A Gathering of Experts: How can we get more enzymes into our bodies?

YOR Health Products Team: There are only two ways we get enzymes—by producing them or by ingesting them. Unfortunately, we produce fewer enzymes as we age. Other factors that drain us of our bodies’ enzymes include stress and environmental pollution.

A Gathering of Experts: What foods provide the most enzymes?

YOR Health Products Team: We can preserve enzymes through raw food, but raw food diets are difficult to maintain. Once the food is cooked, many of the enzymes are destroyed.

A Gathering of Experts: Why are enzyme supplements more important than ever?

YOR Health Products Team: Today, processed foods lack enzymes and natural fibers and are loaded with sugar. Plus, the Western world has a more sedentary lifestyle. So these factors mean the time that food sits in our colon is slowing down, but we still need to get enzymes into our bodies. YOR Health products offer a wide range of high quality enzyme supplements to improve and maintain healthy digestion.

A Gathering of Experts: How often should solid waste be eliminated from the body?

YOR Health Products Team: If you are not eliminating solid waste from your body at least twice every 24 hours, then you more than likely have a digestive issue that you didn’t even know about.

A Gathering of Experts: What are signs of toxin buildup in the colon?

YOR Health Products Team: Signs of toxin buildup may include allergy, constipation, frequent colds, low energy, and much more.

A Gathering of Experts: What are YOR Health products composed of?

YOR Health Products Team: YOR Health products have the highest quality ingredients. YOR Health products consist of enzymes to ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness. We call it the YOR NDS (Nutritional Delivery System), which is composed of natural and gentle plant-based enzymes.


All Western Mortgage’s Derrick Strauss Says Closing Costs Climb as Interest Remains Low

Derrick StraussDerrick Strauss says that the real estate market is well on its way to a new norm, which trades reasonable interest rates for high closing cost. Today, Derrick Strauss answers questions about these fees and clues homebuyers in on the states with the lowest prepaid costs.

A Gathering of Experts: What are closing costs?

Derrick Strauss: Closing cost are essentially the monies it takes to cover the administrative costs of the loan. This can include title insurance, origination fees, and appraisal, credit checks and other incidentals like document processing and courier fees.

A Gathering of Experts: What is the national average for closing costs?

Derrick Strauss: Most people in the United States are going to see closing costs hovering right around $2,400.

A Gathering of Experts: How does that compare to previous years?

Derrick Strauss: In 2012, we saw closing costs closer to $2,260 for an average $200,000 mortgage. 2013’s rates are about 6 percent higher across the board.

A Gathering of Experts: Can you explain what origination fees are?

Derrick Strauss: Origination fees, also called underwriting charges, are what the bank actually charges for the loan. This is the money that actually goes to the bank.

A Gathering of Experts: And how much of the closing costs are these underwriting charges?

Derrick Strauss: It varies according to the lender. Some may charge a flat fee while others calculate underwriting charges as a percentage of the loan.

A Gathering of Experts: If you had to put a dollar amount on the average credit check and appraisal fees, what would it be?

Derrick Strauss: Most homebuyers are going to pay a little under $700 for these two items.

A Gathering of Experts: Have low interest rates contributed to the rise in closing costs?

Derrick Strauss: I think so, yes. As interest rates decrease the number of homebuyers increases, which means that lenders feel more comfortable charging more.

A Gathering of Experts: Are closing costs increasing on both home purchases and refinances?

Derrick Strauss: Yes, refinancing a home is actually a completely new home loan process and includes virtually identical closing costs.

A Gathering of Experts: Are there any differences?

Derrick Strauss: Some refinancers may not have to pay a title search if theirs is recent.

A Gathering of Experts: What states have the most expensive closing costs?

Derrick Strauss: Hawaii, which averages around $2,920. Alaska is second at around $2,675. South Carolina homebuyers can expect to pay almost $2,660 in closing costs.

A Gathering of Experts: Where’s the cheapest?

Derrick Strauss: Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas average between $2,100 and $2,200.

A Gathering of Experts: Are closing costs negotiable?

Derrick Strauss: They can be, especially in competitive markets. It never hurts to ask.

A Gathering of Experts: But interest rates are not?

Derrick Strauss: No, but different loans will have different credit requirements for the best rate.

A Gathering of Experts: Is now a good time to buy a home?

Derrick Strauss: Absolutely. Rates are still comparatively low.

A Gathering of Experts: What advice would you give a new homebuyer before talking to the lender?

Derrick Strauss: I would suggest getting acquainted with the different types of available loans and what sort of financial commitment these require.

A Gathering of Experts: Like interest rates and closing costs?

Derrick Strauss: Yes, but also ask current homeowners in your area how much mortgage insurance and home insurance is. Many first-time homebuyers fail to plan for not only a down payment and closing costs but don’t calculate escrow fees.