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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.

10 Tips to Choose the Right Sneakers or Athletic Shoes

By Laura Williams

athletic shoesJohn Wooden, the acclaimed UCLA basketball coach who won 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span, used to start each season by teaching his players the right way to put on their socks and shoes. Now, you’d think that young men would know how to do this by the time they got to college, but the point was actually to drive home a very important fact: Executing the fundamentals makes finding success in all things a lot easier.

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How to Dye Concrete Floors in Your Home

By Laura Williams

staining concreteMy husband and I recently undertook a barn renovation, or a “barnovation,” as we’ve taken to calling it. What was, quite literally, a horse barn – manure and all – was renovated into a 900-square foot live-work studio. While we paid contractors to run the electrical and plumbing, frame and drywall the interior, and lay the first coat of paint, all the finishing work was up to us. And, if you’ve ever walked around on unfinished concrete – oh, the dust – you know that finishing the floors was one of our first items of business.

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5 Creative Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

By Laura Williams

organizedThe last three years have resulted in significant downsizing for my husband and me. We started in a 1,260-square-foot house with significant storage space, a storage shed, an attic, a utility room, and an additional 750-square-foot garage. We then downsized to 1,100 square feet with lots of closet space, and access to a garage and shed for additional storage. We are now moving into a 900-square-foot barn renovation with no closet space, no garage, and no cabinets (yet).

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6 Easy Recipes for Healthy Holiday Desserts – How to Moderate Your Eating Habits

By Laura Williams

holiday treatsThe holidays are always filled with fun, family, and food. However, just because every event comes paired with a decadent seasonal treat, you don’t need to fill your plate with pie, cake, and cookies.

It also doesn’t mean you need to teetotal sweets entirely. Believe it or not, there is a happy medium, and if you show up with some healthy and delicious treats in-hand, you won’t be labeled the “weird holiday dieter.” Check out a few easy ways to enjoy the holiday season and still avoid holiday weight gain.

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5 Health & Fitness Benefits of Boxing Workouts – How to Get Started

By Laura Williams

boxingBoxing is one of those fitness trends that’s almost always in the periphery – never completely fading out of sight, but never taking the world by storm (à la Zumba). And while Billy Blanks helped introduce the world to a more aerobics-friendly version of kickboxing when he developed Tae Bo in the ’90s, cardio kickboxing’s harder, tougher cousin – boxing – remained mostly out of sight.

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7 Home Remedies & Treatment for Chronic Back Pain Relief

By Laura Williams

back painI’m a long-time sufferer of chronic and acute back pain. The first time I experienced pain was as a 20-year-old college student – I was lifting weights, and an inconsiderate gym-goer bumped into me as I was lifting a barbell over my head. I had to move awkwardly to maintain my balance, and just like that, my back tweaked.

For a long time my pain was relatively low – it was there, but it was never serious enough to seek treatment. Plus I was in good shape, which made the pain more manageable.

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4 Health Benefits of Trampoline Exercises – How to Choose the Right One

By Laura Williams

trampolineTrampolines aren’t just for kids. The repetitive bouncing motion of trampolining actually has many health benefits that make it appropriate for people of all ages and almost all health statuses.

The trick to getting the most out of a trampoline is choosing – and using – a trampoline that’s most appropriate for your needs and living situation. Consider the health benefits of trampolining as well as your goals, budget, and space to find (and get inspired to use) the right one.

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6 Benefits of Rowing Machine Workouts for Health & Fitness

By Laura Williams

rowingRowing machines, like almost all fitness machines, have developed over time, taking their place in the inevitable cycle of fitness trends. As machinery improves and “new” ways to exercise are introduced, long-standing forms of fitness are brought back into (and out of) view.

Rowing machines are currently on an upswing, drawing in consumers and professionals alike. The idea is simple: An individual or a group of participants each mount their own rowing machine, then sweat through a 30- to 60-minute workout designed to mimic the benefits of true water-based rowing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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