6 Things That Could Affect Your Insurance Premiums

Motor trade insurance is diverse. Different insurance industries such as onesureinsurance.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance provide cover for valeters, mechanics, car dealers, and more. But did you know that there are some things that could affect your insurance premium? You could end up violating a policy by some things you may be doing unknowingly.

Some of the factors that could affect your insurance include:

Mileage

While this may be difficult to gauge when applying for a cover, it’s important to take all this information into consideration. If you run a car dealership where you sell used cars, this information could be pertinent. The more miles you travel, the higher your premiums will be. Overestimating the mileage could also cause an unnecessary hike in your premiums.

Usage

The frequency with which you use your vehicle could affect your premium rates.  If you have some cars that are not in use, it’s critical to state this in your application to ensure that you get the best rates.

Rate at which accidents occur

If your employees are always involved in accidents, this could cost you a little more. If one of the cars insured gets into an accident and no party accepts responsibility, the claim still remains in dispute. If your insurance comes up for renewal during this period, you could end up paying a higher premium. In case a claim is resolved, it’s critical to notify your insurer to make sure that you get a refund.

Location of your business

If you operate your motor trade business from your business premises, this may affect your premiums. Running your motor trade business at the same address could reduce your premiums as the insurer deems this as low risk.

Occupation

If you run a motor trade business on a part-time basis, this could affect your premiums especially if you’re not covered for the second occupation. Moreover, failing to disclose these details could make your insurance invalid. Some underwriters do not cover commuting from an additional place of work. It’s, therefore, important to include all the facts about your business.

Additional drivers

If you have multiple drivers on your motor trade policy, this could increase your overall premium. What’s more, you’ll have to part with a huge amount if you have an under 25 driver on your policy. Moreover, reduce the number of motors as this could lower your premiums.

These are some of the factors that could affect your motor trade insurance premiums. Talk to your trade insurance company to learn if you qualify for a cover.


Reasons to Shave With an Electric Shaver

Every single morning when you get ready for work, do you keep wondering why you aren’t shaving with an electric shaver. Obviously, if you already own one then you don’t have to worry about this. However, for those of you who are wondering why you haven’t switched to an electric shaver, you’re about to find out the reasons why in a little bit you will be heading over to Manly Matters to learn all about them. For now, though, here are the most compelling reasons to switch to an electric shaver.

No More Shaving Cream

Be honest for a second, what’s your least favorite aspect when it comes to shaving? Most likely, more than a few of you think it’s the hassle of dealing with shaving cream. It’s not like its rocket science, but it can be messy and annoying to clean. However, with an electric shaver, you completely eliminate that annoyance. With a standard razor, if you shave without shaving cream (not counting shampoo or conditioner) you are almost guaranteed skin irritation. This is not the case with an electric razor as they are designed for a dry shave. Of course, you can still use an electric razor with shaving cream but you don’t have to anymore.

It’s Faster

In many ways, this reason goes hand to hand with the previous one. In general, shaving with an electric razor is faster than any other alternative. Think about it for a second? You don’t have to worry about cleaning up excess shaving cream and water, or constantly cleaning off the blades to remove excess hair. Also, they provide the most efficient shave so it won’t take you very long. All in all, when you get up every single morning at 6:00 to shave you want it to be as fast as possible.

Cheaper in the Long Run

It’s funny because when you compare the price of a standard razor to an electric razor, you would think that you are saving money with the former. However, if you think about it, in the long run, this will not be the case. Sure, electric razors are not cheap and many standard razors are. The kicker is the longevity of both types of razors. If you invest in a high-quality electric razor, it can last you a long time. For example, if one lasts you five years think about how many standard razors you would have to buy in that timeframe! Over time (also considering the money saved from not purchasing shaving cream), your wallet will be thanking you that you made the switch.

Minimize Cuts and Nicks

Another question for you, raise your hand if you have ever cut yourself shaving? If your hand is down right now, then you are a pathological liar (or you have only been shaving for a little while). No matter how many years you have been shaving, the risk of cuts and nicks is always possible when using a standard razor. However, for the most part, you can almost eliminate the chance of this happening with electric razors. Thanks to their cutting-edge technology, they provide the safest shave possible. Feeling manly matters, and what better way to achieve that then knowing you are immune to razor cuts?

More Control for Facial Hair and Your Wife Can Use It

There are probably a number of you that don’t shave to eliminate all of your facial hair. On the contrary, you may only want to completely shave certain parts while only grooming others. With an electric shaver, you have much more control for grooming specific sections of your facial hair. For example, if you were looking to trim your goatee but completely eliminate your sideburns. This can be quite challenging with a standard razor (at least the trimming aspect) but is not an issue with an electric one.

At first, it may disgust you to envision sharing a razor with someone else. However, you should know that if you have a wife (or girlfriend) she can use an electric shaver to shave her legs. After all, you did marry her so you shouldn’t be grossed out by this! So, both of you can end up getting significant use out of it. This will save even more money in the long run as both of you can use the same razor.

There is no way that you are not convinced yet. If you aren’t, then you are only kidding yourself. For those of you who fall under this category, see how annoyed you are of shaving with a standard razor at the end of the week. Chances are, you will invest in an electric shaver in no time.


Top 5 Expert Tips for A Perfect Pressure Wash

Whether you stay in a rented house or you are a homeowner, pressure washing gives you better results than washing your home the usual way. With a huge number of pressure washing machines on the market, it becomes easier and faster than ever to pressure wash different areas of your home including the deck, patio, and driveway. However, just like any job that involves a technical component, you need some knowledge to handle the washing successfully, lack of which might result in a shoddy job, or bodily harm.

1. Stay on The Safe side of Things

This machine uses electricity to run and might pose considerable danger if handled the wrong way. Additionally, a clean wash comes because of the high-pressure water stream that can cause injury and damage property if not handled as per instructions. The cleaning detergents can also be harmful to your eyes, which is prudent that you wear eye protection.

When triggering the sprayer, make sure you are keen on where the nozzle is pointing.  Make sure there is no one in front or around the area you want to clean. Be careful when handling vulnerable areas such as screen enclosures, doors, windows and overhangs because the high pressure might damage such areas.

If you are washing the driveway or the patio, take notice of the direction the wind is blowing. The wind can turn the direction of the spray right at you or into the face of your child.

Never pressure wash with bare feet because the high pressure can strip the skin directly off your feet. Therefore, protect your feet by wearing gumboots or an old pair of shoes. Furthermore, never try to gauge the strength of the spray using your hands. Doing this will injure your hands.

If you are pressure cleaning a wall, make sure you protect the finished drywall and electrical outlets. You can do this by taping plastic sheets to the lower part of your walls.

2. Understand How Far the Machine Can Go

Know when you have to give up and try a different cleaning approach. Some stains will not come off the target surface no matter how strong the pressure is. Some stubborn stains include oil, rust, fertilizer and acorn stains.

If you plan on pressure washing oily or greasy areas, you should use a hot water pressure machine. The hot water emulsifies the grease so that the high water volume will carry it away. Using a cold-water machine hardens the oil and makes it stick more, making it harder to remove. If you don’t have a hot water machine, add a hot box to your cold water pressure washer. The installation is simple and converts the cold washer to a hot washer instantly.

Don’t be tempted in hooking a cold water pressure hooker to the hot water line in your home. This is because the gaskets and seals used for the cold-water pump aren’t designed for high temperatures and start to decline quickly under hot water.

3. Know the Distance Between the Nozzle and the Surface You Are Cleaning

Make sure the gun is between 6 inches and 12 inches away from the cleaning surface for the best results.  Use long side-to-side sweeping motions akin to using a spray-painting gun. Using this technique minimizes skipping as you clean. It also uses less detergent and water and makes the cleaning faster as well.

4. Take Extra Care When Using Chemicals

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using chemicals to clean a surface. Never put acid or bleach in your chemical injector. The chemical tip works together with the O-ring. You need to, therefore, check and confirm that the O-ring is perfectly fitted before you insert chemical tip. Don’t attempt to continue with chemical washing if the O-ring is missing or in a bind. Reason is the chemical might end up spraying back into your face. For extra protection, make sure you wear eye protection when performing pressure or chemical washing.

5. The Ultimate Tip: Use the Right Tool

You need to have the best pressure washer for your needs. Each machine is rated depending on the pressure it produces. The pressure is calibrated in pounds per square inch (PSI). Choose the machine depending on your routine cleaning tasks. If you have heavy cleaning tasks on a daily basis, you need a machine with high PSI. If you are seeking a pressure machine for a total noob, you need to start with a low PSI and move up.


Latest Trends in UPS Technology, And How to Get the Perfect Size for Your Home

Global markets have embraced technology changes in a big way. One of the markets that have incorporated the latest technology in their systems is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market. These systems have gone through numerous changes to make sure the client gets more output per system. Knowing this technology gives you leverage when using these systems. Here are the changes you should be expect.

1. Buttons and LEDs for Changing the Settings

Today’s UPS systems come with various LEDs and buttons that allow you to modify the settings on the UPS and give vital info concerning the system. Some of the information you can access from the LED screen include:
•    Input/output voltage and frequency
•    Battery capacity and voltage
•    Power consumption
•    Power backup time remaining
You can use the buttons to alter some settings and the operating mode. Having the control panel on hand also gives you the ability to spot power problems and react accordingly.

2. Automatic Voltage Regulation

If you stay in an area with periodic power outages, the UPS will have to switch to battery power often. This frequent switching drains the battery and shortens its life. Automatic Voltage Regulation helps resolve this issue by increasing (boosting) or reducing (trimming) the incoming voltage to a stable operating level. Another positive aspect of this technology is that it enhances the range of operation of the UPS.

One of the major issues with power regulation is power surge. Surge issues are now a thing of the past because most UPS systems now come with an integral surge protector, fuse trip, and noise filtering apparatus. The surge protector protects your home computers from transient voltage; while the fuse trip helps you reset the UPS after a surge. Noise filtering reduces the electromagnetic line noise, which, if left unresolved, can lead to degradation of the UPS system.

3. Data Line Protection

Data lines such as audio, video, and the phone jack represent points that can allow power surges into your equipment. Most homeowners don’t know that these jacks signify critical and unmonitored access points to their equipment. Apart from protecting against surge protection emanating from the main line, the protector also provides a cover against power surges that can “sneak” in through the data lines. Some of the equipment that profit from this protection include cable modem lines, cable TV, your home phone or Ethernet modem line.

How Do You Pick the Ideal UPS System?

Before you enjoy the technological advancements that come with current UPS systems, you must purchase one. For one, you need to understand several aspects of the UPS systems to make a decision. You can check out the Smart Future to read reviews as well as browse through available systems. Here are some of the key factors to consider when making up your mind.

Your Power Needs

You need to understand the overall electrical requirements of your equipment, also termed as the load. You need to inspect your core systems and peripherals that you wish to keep running in the event of a power loss. The type and size of UPS you need to backup a single computer is different from the size and type you need to backup a home office. Most UPS manufacturers have an online app that you can use to calculate this load. After estimating the power you need, add 25 percent to the value, and you have your load.

Let us say you have a computer and want to settle on the power needs. All you have to do is check the power supply rating. However, you have to note that the power supply indicated isn’t constant, it fluctuates depending on supply.

The Runtime You Need

The runtime refers to the number of minutes that you need the UPS to provide backup power from the inbuilt battery whenever power fails. Understanding runtime gives you an idea of how long the UPS will supply power before it drains out. However, you need to know that the more home equipment you add to the UPS, the shorter the runtime. You can, however, increase the runtime by adding batteries.

Final Words

Having the right UPS system for your home gives you some more time to finish your work. Modern systems come with advanced features to help you understand what is going on. The technology also improves efficiency and performance. Con


Four Perfect Kitchen Knife Sets Under $100

You get to save a lot when you purchase a knife set as compared to buying the knives independently. There are so many choices to pick from, making it a hard task for you to get what you need in a very short time. Owning a quality knife set assures you several years of great culinary experience. These knives come at different prices, today we look at the top knife sets that you can get under $100.

1. Cuisinart 15-piece Stainless Steel Knife Block Set

This set comes with all the required knives to prepare a variety of meals since each knife has a distinct task. The set comes with a hollow handle block for proper storage. These knives have high carbon stainless steel blades that allow for perfect cutting.  High carbon also assures you of durability of the blades, which will barely chip. This steel is also compatible with a wide variety of sharpeners. The handles are made of polymer, a plastic material that is heat resistant as well. The handles are contoured and studded to give you a firm grip.

2. Chicago Cutlery 1119644 Fusion Forged 18-Piece

This set blends style and functionality. The blades are made out of high-tensile stainless steel, which is tough and resists staining, pitting and rusting. The handles are made from poly material to give a solid grip. The knives in this set make use of taper grind technology that makes sure each edge stays sharper for longer. This set consists of 18 individual knives including a chef knife, steak knives, stainless sharpening steel, a peeler, parer and bread knife among others. Each knife has a specific task to make sure you have all you need to perform cutting tasks in the kitchen.

3. Ginsu 04817 International Traditions 14-Piece Knife set

With Ginsu, you are sure that you are getting well-designed, sharp and beautifully balanced kitchen knives. This Japanese company claims to make the knives according to the tradition followed when making Samurai swords, assuring you that you are getting a top quality knife set. The knives use high quality carbon stainless steel blades. The set gives you a boning knife, chef’s knife, utility knife, a set of steak knives, a boning knife, Santoku, paring knives and kitchen shears.

The blades come with serrations on both sides meaning that you don’t need to sharpen the knife before use. The serrations make the knife ideal for both left and right handed users. The handles make use of three rivets for extra strength and durability. The package comes with a block that is designed to fit both modern and contemporary kitchen decors.

4. KitchenAid 12-Piece Stamped Delrin Cutlery Set

A chic design, comfortable handles and extra sharp blades define this cutlery set. Choosing this set opens a completely new world for your culinary experience. You can now perform various cutting tasks you never had access before – filleting, chopping and slicing. This set features stainless steel blades that are naturally durable and rust-resistant. The blade is also resistant to chemical reactions. The handles use a poly plastic feature that is non-slippery and ergonomically shaped to allow for a firm grip. The set comes with several knives including a paring knife, shears knife, slicer, chopper, steak knife and chef knife. The blades are sharp and instantly functional. You can clean the blades the normal way using water, but you need to desiccate them to retain the sharpness.

Bottomline

So, you feel you need a complete set of knives under $100 and which won’t let you down? You won’t go wrong with any of these sets, which are manufactured from durable material that will last you ages. You can use the buying guide from http://www.cutitfine.com/knife-set-buying-guide/ to find the best kitchen knife set for your culinary needs.


Morning Exercise Routines to Keep you Feeling Great Throughout the day

People who are serious about getting in shape should find the time to exercise as often as they can. If done every day, exercise can help achieve their goal of losing those excess pounds and strengthening their bones and muscles. Exercising on a daily basis can make significant changes to your health and body.

To successfully lose weight and be in great shape, you should work hard to integrate a workout session to your day-to-day routine. The following are some exercises that are good for morning workouts:

Running

A quick run around your block is an awesome way to start your day. It lets you stretch and prepare your muscles for the hectic workday ahead, and also gives you the opportunity to breathe in the cool, fresh morning air. Running for 20 to 30 minutes a day has been proven to offer many different health benefits, so make sure that you include this to your routine to be able to lose weight effectively.

Jumping Jacks

With so many people suffering from high blood pressure levels, heart attacks, and other similar diseases, you should take care of your heart and do some cardio exercises, such as jumping jacks. With jumping jacks, you can enjoy a fun and energizing morning exercise that not only works your heart but also your lungs, deltoids, calves, and other bodily muscles. As a beginner, you can start by doing a couple of one-minute-long sets, and gradually increase that to whatever you are comfortable with as you go along.

Walking

If you prefer less strenuous exercises in the morning, go for a walk. You can walk at a pace that is just enough to get your heart pumping. Compared to running, walking is not as straining to the knees, ankles, and joints. It is a suitable exercise for those who are just getting into physical fitness and also for old people.

Push-ups

To build your arms, shoulders, back, abdomen, and core, do push-ups every morning. You can start by doing 10 on your first few days, and then double that on the following week, and so on. After several weeks, you should be able to notice a difference on your muscles, i.e. they should show some tone. If you can, you can use certain types of exercise machines, such as a rower, for more intensity. You can look up websites that review home rowing machines to learn some valuable facts on rowers and rowing workouts, and also find what brands to go for if you decide to buy.

Squats

If you want a workout that focuses on your lower body, do squats. Stand straight, with your feet about six inches apart from each other, and then lower your body into a sitting position, with your back straight and both of your arms out in front. Go back to the starting positing and repeat 15 to 20 times.


Sensible weight loss

If you are heavily overweight, it’s easy to find the idea of slimming down to be daunting. We go through phases of dieting and trying out new fads, only to be disappointed with the poor results. We told ourselves for a long time that we could shed the extra weight in a month or two and be as fit as a fiddle. Yet, after trying a number of times to do exactly that, we found that it wasn’t as easy as we had thought. Even worse, many of those who did see good results, got down to a weight they were happier with and then rebounded spectacularly to an even bigger size.

Then there are those who are driven to drastic action – perhaps by seeing the death of a friend who was a similar size, or from having their own health scare. These people often take dieting to an extreme, eating the minimum they can. They lose weight rapidly, but dangerously. These people experience a whole range of problems, including losing muscle along with fat – leaving them weaker than before. They can experience prolonged dehydration, which negatively affects the central nervous system, and other deficiencies which result in hair loss, constant fatigue and dizziness. They become unemployable as they are so weak and unable to focus, and look worse than they did when they started.

None of this is good news for someone who wants to lose weight. But the good news is that most people don’t need a quick fix. Simple changes in your diet and lifestyle – nothing to stress about and nothing worth bragging about, are the key to sensible weight loss – shedding the pounds and keeping them off. Rather than losing 30lbs in six months, aim to lose it in two or three years. That’s a pound a month. It doesn’t sound much because it isn’t. But, if you weigh 120lbs now, in three years’ time you could be down to 90lbs. If you do nothing, you’ll still be 120lbs or even more. That’s worth it.

If you’re completely idle at the moment, you need to start doing something. Get yourself outside at the same time every day for a walk around the block. Get a dog to make sure you have to do it. Have fun on your walk – talk to other dog walkers, admire the views, relax. You’re not on a treadmill. You just have to walk for twenty or thirty minutes. Try to find more ways to keep yourself on your feet. Make short journeys on foot, rather than taking the car. If you feel exhausted after your walk, leave it at that. But, if you can, do more.

The big one is the food. You’re probably worried about feeling hungry, and you’re right to be. Rather than cutting down on the volume of food you consume, simply change the amounts of different ingredients. Try as much as you can to avoid what you know is unhealthy – sugary soda drinks, processed cheese, pizza, candy bars etc. You don’t have to abandon them, but if you’re eating them regularly, you’ll struggle to make progress. Switch to brown rice and brown bread. Fill up on green veggies. You might be surprised how great a stew can be with a small amount of fish or meat, a great sauce and plenty of veggies.

Drink water when you feel hungry. This does get rid of the feeling of hunger as the water fills your stomach. If you get sick of water, get yourself a food processor here at Mrs Foodprep and make yourself some smoothies using fruit and vegetables. You can find some great recipes online. The ingredients might not look all that delicious when you lay them out separately, but they taste great as a snack to quell your hunger until meal time.

Lastly, if you’re a big drinker, you’ll have to cut down. If the thought of cutting down annoys you or frightens you, then it’s likely you have a drinking problem. That could well be the reason you got so big in the first place. Find help to deal with your problem and stop or cut down drinking. A few glasses or beers on a Saturday night isn’t a problem, as long as it remains a few.


A schedule that works for you

These days, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of employing remote workers. It’s a change that looks like it will continue to happen more and more, as most employees, companies and local and national governments begin to favor it.

For employees it means more control over their time. When someone has financial stability, they begin to worry about how much time they have for the important things in life, and may well change jobs in order to avoid lengthy commutes. By working from home, they can save a lot of money on gasoline and may even decide to run one car instead of two if they have a partner. Further savings are made from not having to pay for childcare. All this coupled with increased control over their time means that more and more workers are striving to make remote working from home the norm.

Companies like it too. By not having someone in the office, they’re not paying to keep that person warm, keep their electricity running, insure them, insure against them, provide a parking space and so on. When enough employees work remotely, the company can save vast amounts by closing down expensive offices in prime locations and keeping a core of HR and IT staff in a cheaper and smaller office. A lot of companies are registered offshore and employ people in other countries, too, which allows for interesting mechanisms for reducing tax to be brought into play. A bricks and mortar business with 9-5 employees ends up paying more almost all the time.

Governments are warming to it, especially at local level as it takes unnecessary traffic off the roads and eases pressure on services such as childcare. It also allows people to be more flexible with things like medical appointments, meaning that busy days in hospitals are less and less extreme than in the past.

It seems, therefore, that we are going to see more and more people working from home, and therefore more and more people having to plan their daily schedules.

Once you have a dedicated work space or office set up, you are pretty much ready to go. You might have set hours by your company when you must be available and working, or you might have complete control over your schedule.

Don’t be tempted to fall out of bed and straight into work. Wake up at your normal time, get showered and dressed, eat breakfast and use the time constructively. This will prepare you for starting the workday and give you a chance, subconsciously, to get your ideas together for the day ahead. Spend time with your children or do some exercise if possible. If you can’t leave the house, think about getting some home gym equipment in your office. Many modern offices in forward-thinking companies have gym equipment in their offices, and so should you. The internet is a great place to start looking to find what kind of machine is most suitable for you.

Keep your work and home environments separate and allow yourself breaks at regular intervals, just as you would have in an office building. You can use these breaks to go home, sit down and watch TV, get some chores done or make a coffee, but be disciplined about them. Don’t make a habit of extending your breaks.

Try to find a way in your schedule to introduce some social time. This could be through working an extra hour on certain days to free up an afternoon on another, or perhaps by starting earlier and finishing earlier. Social time is more important for those who work from home, as they are very much lacking in interaction with others. Having the time to relax with friends over a coffee or a beer is important in maintaining mental health and morale.

When you finish work for the day, close the door and be done with it. If you’re tempted to go back and do more, just because you can, it’s probably not a good idea. Working from home is great when emergency situations arise, but you have to be clear in your mind of what constitutes an emergency and what doesn’t. If it’s not an emergency, leave it until the morning.


Options and ideas for self defense

Self-defense is one of the most emotive topics you can bring up in a discussion. Pretty much everyone has an opinion on what should and shouldn’t be allowed, which method or tools are better than others and under which circumstances etc. For this article we’ll assume that you’re familiar with the laws in your particular jurisdiction regarding what you can and can’t do – in some areas, openly carrying an assault rifle won’t bat an eyelid whereas in others, you need a license to practice certain martial arts and the only people carrying guns are the criminals.

Even if you do live in a jurisdiction in which you can carry an AR-15 openly as you walk down the street, you’ll likely find it to be impractical and cumbersome to take with you everywhere. While it might be an ideal weapon to have in the event of a terrorist attack or a zombie swarm, it could actually increase your chances of becoming a victim of crime. As your hands are occupied with the weapon, your focus is distracted from the rest of your person, meaning that you could easily be pickpocketed. Even more seriously, as the AR-15 is not suited to close quarters combat, you would be at a disadvantage if you were jumped, especially by more than one assailant. In such an event, you could very well have your own weapon turned against you.

Weapons such as semi-auto rifles are suitable for patrols in no-go areas, preferably as part of a unit and not alone. They are also suitable when out hiking in the event of surprising a grizzly bear. Hopefully you would not have to shoot the bear, but if you did, such a weapon would get the job done much more easily than, say a .22 pistol. A single shot at close range from a large handgun, such as the .500 S&W Magnum would also do the trick.

In most built-up areas, your best bet for stopping an attack is to carry a pistol. Concealed carry can be more dangerous than openly carrying. A would-be attacker might be put off by seeing your gun on your hip. But if the attacker cannot tell that you are armed, you may be forced to draw and shoot, at which point any number of things can happen. Don’t draw your weapon to make a threat – if you have to grab it, be prepared to use it. Not doing so, or drawing an unloaded gun puts your life at serious risk.

Aside from firearms, tasers, pepper spray and pepper guns are good alternatives for stopping an attacker without killing them. Tasers are cumbersome and difficult to use and should probably be left to law enforcement officers who need to make an arrest. Pepper guns work best at a range of 15 to 20 feet. It can be extremely difficult to get a good shot at a pursuer, so you may need to switch to the spray, which is designed for use close up. Spray directly into the eyes, nose and mouth and step to the side, maintaining your aim as you do so. This should stop most attackers, but if you continue to be attacked, fight aggressively, attacking the eyes, neck, groin and other sensitive areas until you can get free and run.

Traditional martial arts are of limited use in street attacks. It’s difficult to practice street fighting without actually doing it for real, but be aware that there are no rules – your attacker will use bottles, knives, rocks and fight dirty. So should you. If you are knocked to the floor, try to get up immediately.

If you are attacked, make as much noise as possible to draw attention and hopefully intervention on your side. This seems to be a particularly useful tactic for lone women who are pursued by a lone male. Having a rape alarm makes this easier, but remember to shout, too, as rape alarms are sometimes confused for car alarms. They’re not just for women, either.

A military grade flashlight, though slightly cumbersome, can disable an attacker in the dark. The light is so bright that their eyes will automatically close. This will stop the attack and give you’re the chance to get help or make your escape.

Finally, don’t keep your keys at the bottom of your bag. People do get attacked on their doorsteps, as this is a moment when many drop their guard. Have your keys ready as you approach your door. Even having an automatic garage door opener can help you here, just click when you approach the driveway and the door will be open when you get to it. If you have a shotgun in the garage, now is the time to fire off some cartridges.


How to improve your health at home

Many people, when they think about getting healthy, have nightmarish visions sweaty gyms, being started down at by muscle-bound hulks or being laughed at by wonder women. Some people might imagine going out for a jog and constantly having to stop for being short of breath, while neighbors peer out and snigger behind their curtains and little children scream and run away, as if they fear being trampled by a giant tortoise.

Some people are afraid of getting their legs pulled as they ask for the healthy option in the supermarket – “Excuse me, could you tell me which aisle the soy milk and the kale are on?” has been known to raise a few eyebrows in many a town.

But taking care of your health doesn’t have to mean making a public display. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home. Starting with your diet, you can have your food delivered. No, I’m not talking about the pizza company. In fact, if you’re serious about improving your health, you should burn that pizza menu right away. Have your groceries delivered so you don’t have to suffer your neighbors staring at your basket, piled high with cashew nuts, gluten-free options and rough oatmeal as if it were a briefcase filled with bags of white powder and syringes.

Order plenty of raw vegetables and fruit, lots of grains and a small amount of fish and white meat. Don’t bother with the six packs of beer, cigarettes, microwave lasagne, potato chips and instant ramen. You won’t be needing those ever again. Get a blender and make yourself a couple of smoothies every day using a mixture of raw vegetables and fruit. Have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Eat it with soy milk if you prefer. Drink plenty of water and when you fancy something different to drink, take a bite of a juicy orange or a peach. Even better, hack the top of a coconut and guzzle the water inside. Eat five small meals a day, rather than three large ones. If you feel the need to snack, grab a carrot, a stick of celery or a pear. Eat meat or fish and grains for at least one of your meals. That’s the only meal you’ll really need to spend any time preparing, so this diet isn’t too much effort to follow. Keep drinking water all day long.

Wake up at dawn, get out of bed and go outside. Take a hot mint infusion outside with you if it’s cold. It’s important to feel connected to the environment around you and dawn is one of the most interesting and beautiful times to be outside. You should really aim to be outside at a minimum of two hours each day – if you don’t, you’re getting less sunlight than federal prisoners. You can achieve this by taking long walks. This counts as exercise, too and can be great fun if you have a dog.

As your body begins to feel better, you should start thinking about pushing yourself a little harder. Investing in some home gym equipment is a great way to work on your health at home. Instead of kicking back on the sofa and watching TV, you can do it on the rower, treadmill or elliptical trainer. Start doing push-ups, pull-ups, and perhaps using dumbbells, too, to build your strength. At this point you should be feeling pretty good and looking much better for it.

Being healthy is as much about your mind as it is about your body. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in boredom. You need to work out your brain, too. Do your tax returns with a pencil and paper instead of a calculator. Read some classic books on philosophy, mathematics or the natural world, writing your own summary of each chapter. Avoid watching canned pop T-shows. These are the equivalent of junk food for the brain. Switch over to a documentary or debate show. Sign up for an online course or teach yourself a useful skill such as woodworking, keeping bees or growing your own vegetables. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling healthier and fitter than you’ve ever been.