About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:
Laura Williams
Laura Williams holds a master's degree in exercise and sport science and enjoys breaking up her day by running her dogs, hitting the gym, and watching TV. Having been in charge of her own finances since the early age of 12, she knows how to save and when to spend, and she loves sharing these tips with others. Laura ditched her career as a fitness center manager for the relative freedom of home-based writing and editing work. She stays busy by working on her own website, GirlsGoneSporty, a website designed to help the sporty woman live the sporty life.

The Real Costs of Back Pain – Treatment & Prevention

By Laura Williams

back painIf you’re a back pain sufferer, you know exactly how costly your pain can be. Beyond the missed work days, doctors visits, and the expense of ongoing care and treatment, back pain can stop your life in its tracks. Try taking a walk, sitting at a desk, laughing, or even carrying on a conversation during an acute bout of back pain – it can feel almost impossible.

If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, you know your pain never leaves you – you consider your movements every time you stand up or sit down, while you sleep, and when choosing which activities to engage in.

Click to continue reading...

5 Fitness Exercises You Can Do With a Soccer Ball

By Laura Williams

soccerAccording to a 2007 survey by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), more than 265 million people worldwide actively compete in soccer each year, solidifying the sport’s position as the most popular sport in the world. But even if you’re not part of the global 4% who partake in the sport, you can still enjoy a good workout using nothing but a soccer ball. Pick up a standard-sized soccer ball for about $20 from any sporting goods store and get to work in your own backyard.

Click to continue reading...

Costs, Pros & Cons of Obstacle Course Races Like Spartan Race & Tough Mudder

By Laura Williams

ocrThe Wall Street Journal claims obstacle course racing (OCR) “may be the fastest-growing participatory sport in American history.” As of 2008, the sport was virtually unheard of, consisting mainly of small, local races and events, but as of 2012, more than 2 million participants flooded the booming industry, with as many as 4 million expected to take part in 2014.

As a fitness professional, I’m always excited when races and events draw crowds. Anything that gets people up and moving is generally considered a good thing. But there are risks that arise when sports go from zero to 60 in a matter of months – an exponentially exploding industry opens up itself, and its participants, to problems.

Click to continue reading...

Understanding Lymphoma in Dogs – Types, Treatments & How to Make Tough Decisions

By Laura Williams

dogs“I’m sorry, but your dog has lymphoma. We need to talk treatment options.”

It’s the news no pet owner wants to hear. Your heart suddenly drops, and you experience a flashback to all the memories you’ve accumulated with your pup over the years. You can’t believe those memories might be coming to a close. I know the feeling – I’ve been there twice.

According to The National Canine Cancer Foundation, canine lymphomas are one of the most common malignancies diagnosed in dogs, and there is no cure. And while treatment options are available, including chemotherapy, even the longest estimated lifespan post-diagnosis is only about two years. If you choose not to treat the cancer with an expensive and potent drug therapy, you’re looking at an average lifespan of just four to eight weeks.

Click to continue reading...

10 BOSU Ball Exercises to Work Out Your Core & Improve Balance

By Laura Williams

bosu ballWhether you’re looking to amp up your home workout, or hope to pare down on the equipment you use while at the gym, you can easily perform a full-body fitness routine using nothing but a BOSU ball. BOSU balls – termed such because you can use “BOth Sides Up” – are essentially a half stability ball with a sturdy plastic platform on one side. The rounded side can be placed either on the ground or pointing upward, offering flexibility to the number and type of exercises performed using the equipment.

Click to continue reading...

How to Find a Good Doctor You Can Trust

By Laura Williams

doctor and patientAccording to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), cases of delayed, missed, or incorrect diagnoses are common – in the range of 10% to 20%. While some of these errors are due to misinterpretation of diagnostic tests, the more glaring issues are healthcare system-related errors and errors caused by the faulty reasoning of the healthcare provider.

The truth is, not every doctor is the best doctor. Some doctors graduate from the best medical schools with the best grades and go on to participate in the best residencies. Other doctors eke through lower-level medical schools with low grades and less competitive residencies. Still, other doctors fall somewhere in the middle, and their success hinges on their bedside manner and patient care.

Click to continue reading...

OptOutPrescreen Review – Stop Credit Card Offers in the Mail

By Laura Williams

credit card offers mailJunk mail – that ubiquitous nuisance that shows up everyday, usually boasting pre-approved offers for credit cards and insurance rates – poses a very real problem. These offers can be scooped from your mailbox, opened without your knowledge, and used fraudulently under your name without permission. While this may not be the most popular form of identity theft out there, it does happen and it’s a real risk. Add to that the fact that junk mail usually just ends up in the trash, representing a huge waste of paper and resources, and there’s simply no reason you need to continue receiving it.

Click to continue reading...

Mvelopes Review – Envelope Budgeting Software

By Laura Williams

mvelopes logoThe envelope budgeting system has been around for a long time, and because it works, it remains popular, despite its “old school” methodology. If you’re not familiar, the concept is simple: Separate your budget into different categories, such as entertainment, groceries, rent, and gasoline. Create an envelope for each category, label it, and withdraw cash from your account to place in each envelope representing the total amount you’ll spend in that category for the month. Use the cash from your envelopes to make your purchases, and when the money’s gone, stop spending in that category until the next month.

Click to continue reading...

5 Health Benefits of Swimming & Water Exercise – How to Get Started

By Laura Williams

water exerciseAccording to SwimToday, 80% of parents never consider enrolling their kids in swim team after they’ve completed swim lessons. And yet swimming is one of the most amazing lifetime sports a person can get involved in, as people of all ages – from 4 to 94 – can take advantage of the incredible fitness benefits it imparts. Clearly not everyone is familiar with why swimming workouts are so fabulous and how to get started.

I spent 13 years of my professional life working in and around swimming pools. That included years of lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, organizing fitness classes, managing facilities, and working with community members to expand programs and meet needs. I can personally attest to the life-changing health benefits of water exercise.

Click to continue reading...

5 Health Benefits of Walking Every Day for Exercise

By Laura Williams

walkingWith what seems like thousands of fitness opportunities constantly vying for your attention, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the most basic and effective of them. Walking – a movement that’s as natural as breathing – is one of the best ways to improve your overall health.

While you might find yourself asking, “What’s the trick? How can walking be so effective?” the honest answer is that it’s as simple as putting on your shoes and heading outside.

Click to continue reading...

10 Weighted Body Bar Exercises You Can Do at Home

By Laura Williams

body bar exercisesOne of the best ways to shape up and add muscle definition to your body is to start strength training. This doesn’t mean you need to head to the closest gym and start training for a body building competition – all this means is that you should use some form of weight, whether it’s your own body weight or an external source of added weight, during exercise at least two times per week.

Click to continue reading...

10 Exercises With Lebert Equalizer Bars

By Laura Williams

lebert equalizer barsAs the days get shorter and the temperatures gets colder, home-based workouts are a great alternative to heading outside or driving to the gym. The only trick is making sure you have the equipment on hand to keep your workouts varied and fresh.

One of my favorite pieces of equipment is Lebert Fitness Equalizer Bars. The Equalizer Bars come as a set of two, and they look and function a lot like hurdles. The main difference is that these hurdles are weighted (eight pounds each) and are designed to independently support up to 400 pounds. The result is a multifunctional piece of equipment that can be used to perform hundreds of exercises targeting the entire body.

Click to continue reading...

10 Training Exercises for a Complete Resistance Band Workout

By Laura Williams

resistance bandResistance bands are quite possibly the most cost-effective home fitness equipment available for performing a full-body resistance training workout routine. Not only are they inexpensive, typically ranging from $5 to $20 per band, but they’re also lightweight and small, making them perfect for throwing in a work bag or suitcase when you’re on-the-go. Grab a few bands and put them to use when you’re tight on time, space, or money – here are 10 exercises to try for a full-body routine.

Click to continue reading...

10 Best Dumbbell Exercises for Men & Women to Get in Shape

By Laura Williams

dumbbellsDumbbells are a quintessential piece of fitness equipment. You can do just about any exercise with them, and they’re reasonably affordable.

Furthermore, used properly, they get results – and this is the reason why dumbbells have been an essential staple in the fitness industry for years. You can target muscles unilaterally or in tandem, and you can increase your strength without spending lots of cash on the latest fitness contraptions. So instead of buying into the late night infomercials, dust off that old set of dumbbells and put them to work with this full-body exercise routine.

Click to continue reading...

How to Choose the Right Bicycle – 4 Different Types of Bikes

By Laura Williams

bikingChoosing the bicycle that’s right for you is a little like choosing the right college: It’s a big investment, and while every option gets you from point A to point B, they won’t all get you there the same way or at the same speed. Making the right decision hinges on knowing your own needs and goals, and matching them to the right bike.

A high quality bike can range in price from $500 to more than $20,000, but there’s absolutely no reason for the average cycling commuter to spend anywhere near the top of that range.

Click to continue reading...

The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.