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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.

8 Steps to Take When Adopting and Bringing a New Dog Home

By Laura Williams

adopting a dogOnce you’ve decided to welcome a new pooch into your home, your work has just begun. While adopting a dog seems easy on paper, there is an abundance of preparatory work that has to be done to make sure you choose the right pup and create a dog-friendly home.

Sit down with your family members and have a thorough heart-to-heart discussion before heading to the shelter to pick out your pooch. Then, get to work preparing for your brand new family member.

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8 Core Exercises to Get Six-Pack Abs Like Beach Volleyball Players

By Laura Williams

Emily Day servingThere’s no beating around the bush: Beach volleyball is a sexy sport. The pure strength of the athletes combined with sun, sand, and barely-there uniforms make it a top draw at international competitions, such as the Olympics.

A big part of what makes the sport so sexy is the fact that the men and women who play volleyball have mastered those ever-coveted six-pack abs. How do they do it? On a recent trip to the AVP Professional Volleyball Invitational in Atlantic City, New Jersey, I had the chance to get the goods from the athletes themselves.

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Annual Cost of Owning a Horse and 6 Alternatives to Buying

By Laura Williams

child wants a horseParents of horse-lovers, beware. It’s only a matter of time before your child starts asking incessantly for a pony. I should know – I was that child. For every birthday, Christmas, Easter, or special occasion, all I asked for was a horse. I dreamed about horses. I played with nothing but toy horses. My favorite excursions were those to the local country store so I could imagine buying a saddle and bridle of my own.

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Pros & Cons of Juicing vs. Blending Smoothies – Which Is Better?

By Laura Williams

juicesTo juice, or to blend – that is the question. If you’ve ever watched an early morning infomercial for a juicing machine, you’ve probably been tempted to make a purchase. Too bad the next infomercial for a smoothie-making blender confuses the situation.

When you want to increase your fruit and veggie intake in the form of a drink, which is better – a smoothie or a juice? The good news is that both options are healthy, but there are a few pros and cons of each that you should consider before diving in.

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Dog Adoption Process & Costs – 3 Things to Consider

By Laura Williams

dog adoptionAfter watching the ASPCA’s tear-inducing commercial featuring shelter dogs huddling in cages to the tune of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” it can be tempting to immediately run to a shelter and adopt the first dog you see.

However, before you throw on your shoes and head out the door, it is important that you understand the cost and the process of adopting a dog. Furthermore, it is crucial to take the time to assess whether you are truly ready to accept what can be an expensive long-term commitment.

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Top 13 Fitness & Spa Vacations on a Budget

By Laura Williams

fitness vacationIn today’s health-conscious world, practically every major hotel offers onsite fitness facilities, yoga classes, and even fit packages for vacationers. However, there’s a big difference between choosing to take advantage of a hotel’s fitness services and taking a vacation focused on nothing but fitness.

The great part about taking a fitness vacation is that instead of coming back from a week away feeling lethargic and puffy, you come back feeling svelte, energized, and better than ever. And, because the adventure travel industry is booming, it’s possible to find all-inclusive vacations centered on everything from running, to cycling, to surfing, to yoga.

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5 Overnight Oats Recipes to Keep You Full All Morning

By Laura Williams

eating oatmealWho has the time to make old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast anymore? When you’re running around first thing in the morning, you’re lucky if you get breakfast at all, much less a home-cooked meal.

However, despite your crazy schedule, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. So don’t skip it – plan ahead and make overnight oats. Oats soften up overnight and take on the flavors of the ingredients you mix with them. While the possibilities are endless, one thing is for sure: The fiber and protein of an oat-packed breakfast can keep you full until lunch.

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7 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Juicing Pulp

By Laura Williams

girl juicingJuicing is a great way to make fresh, homemade fruit and vegetable drinks, but after extracting the juice from your produce, you end up with lots of leftover pulp. It seems a shame to toss that in the trash – but how in the world are you supposed to use it?

Luckily, it doesn’t have to go to waste. There are numerous ways to use that juice pulp and receive the health benefits and flavor it provides.

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11 Bodyweight Leg Toning Exercises You Can Do at Home

By Laura Williams

leg exerciseSkip the squat rack and leg press machine – you don’t need them. With just your own body weight and a few extra tools, there are a dozen leg exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home. Just grab a set of dumbbells, a stability ball, and a bottle of water to get started.

Before starting a new workout program, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about any contraindications you may have that could prevent you from performing certain exercises. For instance, if you have bad knees, your doctor may suggest that you avoid plyometric jumping exercises. Also, if you have any known illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes, it’s important that you communicate with your doctor about your exercise program prior to getting started.

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12 Best Home Fitness Equipment Pieces for Less Than $100

By Laura Williams

jump ropeNo one likes being bamboozled by the latest, greatest infomercial fitness products promising to whittle your middle and give you a celebrity body with just six easy payments of $39.99. Let’s be real: Nobody needs a Shake Weight or an Ab Belt. If you’re serious about getting in shape from the comfort of your own home, choose multipurpose products that are time-tested and affordable.

It doesn’t take much to get in shape, as long as you commit to doing it. Just a couple of pieces of equipment from the following list can help get you started on your own home workout plan, and they might end up being all you need to succeed in losing weight and sculpting the body you desire.

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5 Simple Mason Jar Salad Recipes & Ideas

By Laura Williams

5 mason jar saladsIt’s not easy to “brown bag” a salad: If you put dressing on your greens before work, you end up with soggy lettuce; if you keep the dressing on the side, you end up lugging lots of plastic containers back and forth, increasing the likelihood that you’ll lose one of them. Not to mention the fork conundrum – what happens if you forget it?

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. When you use Mason jars to layer your salads, you can keep wet ingredients wet and dry ingredients dry, while still packing them in a single container. Choose the properly sized Mason jar, and you can even fit your fork inside. So go ahead and eat more vegetables with one of these five easy Mason jar salad recipes.

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The Truth About Sports Drinks vs. Water & Other Alternatives

By Laura Williams

sports drinkThere’s a time and place for sports drinks, but chances are that time and place isn’t before, during, or after your 30-minute circuit training session at the gym. While there’s no denying that Gatorade and similar drinks taste great and have been mass-marketed to aspiring athletes everywhere, the truth is that most the time they’re simply unnecessary.

You can do your body a world of good by rehydrating and refueling after your workout with sports drink alternatives. However, that’s not to say you should never consume sports drinks. There is solid evidence to back their use in certain situations.

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10 Fun Group Exercise Classes & Ideas

By Laura Williams

dance exerciseGroup fitness classes such as Zumba and Spinning are a lot like fashion in that, as Heidi Klum says, “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” The beauty of this ever-changing industry is that there are always new, creative takes on traditional exercise classes, as well as the promise of never-before-seen experiences.

If you’re interested in spicing up your workout routine, then consider the many new group fitness classes taking place around the country, and check local listings to see if you can find them in your area.

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8 Ways to Eat Your Vegetables and Actually Enjoy Them

By Laura Williams

veggiesVeggies often get a bad rap. What should be among the most-eaten foods in your diet end up getting pushed aside, complained about, and generally disliked. Believe it or not, though, it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to prepare veggies that make them not only enjoyable, but in some cases downright delicious.

Boiled spinach, iceberg lettuce, and steamed peas and carrots are just a few old standards that may have shaped your image of “vegetables.” But today, a much wider range of veggies is available and a number of creative angles have been applied to cooking and serving vegetables. Rather than drop them in a pot of water or fry them in a vat of oil, try a new, creative, and healthy way to enjoy veggies.

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5 Tabata Workouts & Exercises – High-Intensity Training Routines

By Laura Williams

lungesTime is precious, so why would you spend 40 minutes jogging on the treadmill when you can get a great workout done in less than 10 minutes? That’s what Tabata is all about: Offering four-minute workouts that actually work – and all it takes at most is a yoga mat and a set of dumbbells.

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