The Satisfaction of Doing It Yourself

 

DIY pic
DIY
Image: diynetwork.com

Paul Andrew is a North Grafton, Massachusetts-based writer who concentrates in public policy. Outside of his work in North Grafton, Paul Andrew enjoys taking a break to build and create using his hands.

For many people, there is nothing like being able to take out the tools and fix things around the house. With so many resources available online, DIY (do-it-yourself) is easier and more popular than ever. Forbes Magazine calls home improvement a growth industry, citing the remarkable expansion that retailers Lowe’s and Home Depot have experienced in the last 10 years. This is one industry that seems not only to have grown but thrived during the recession as people have made an art out of stretching their home improvement budget.

Despite the occasional headache, DIY projects offer a sense of satisfaction as well as a light touch on the pocketbook. From quick fixes to more in-depth projects like replacing a fence or renovating an old barn, for many individuals there are few things as rewarding as a job well done.

Basic Exercises for Runners

Basic Exercises for Runners  pic
Basic Exercises for Runners
Image: running.competitor.com

A writer and specialist in economic and trade policy, Paul Andrew lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts. An active member of his North Grafton community, Paul Andrew contributes to local organizations like the police department and the Pine Street Inn. He also regularly runs in cross-country and 5k events.

Successfully running any significant distance can be a challenge for even the most experienced athletes. However, by performing exercises designed for runners, athletes can get the most out of their run while minimizing the risk of injury.

Squats. Designed to work many running-specific muscles, including hamstrings, quads, and glutes, squats can be beneficial even without using weights. First, stand straight with your feet an equal distance apart, at about hip distance. In a sitting position, bend your knees approximately 90 degrees, and return to a standing position. Do about 12 squats, increasing repetition or adding weights as they become easier.

Core exercises. A series of short exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, core exercises can be done two or three times for 30 seconds each. One exercise, the plank, begins with you lying flat on your stomach with your forearms and toes tucked under your body. Rise so that your weight is supported by your forearms and toes, keeping your back straight. You can also alternate with one forearm and the side of one foot by doing a side plank.

Lunges. From the traditional forward lunge to the challenging reverse lunge, this exercise strengthens your legs and increases the flexibility of your hips. For the forward lunge, begin in a standing position and step forward until your knee is over, but not past, your ankle. Slowly lower yourself until your other knee touches or comes close to the floor. Repeat with the other leg.

The Innbassadors for Pine Street Inn

Pine Street Inn pic
Pine Street Inn
Image: pinestreetinn.org

Paul Andrew, North Grafton-based public policy expert and writer, is affiliated with several nonprofit organizations and charities. Paul Andrew gives charitable donations to many Grafton organizations, including the Grafton Police Department, various organizations for Veterans, and Pine Street Inn.