Free Public Senior Exercise Classes on Facebook, YouTube Help Seniors Stay Fit

(NewsUSA) – When gym closures due to COVID-19 locked most seniors out of their exercise classes and daily workout routines this spring, they quickly began combing the internet for new strategies to stay fit. Today, many older adults have turned to options like the Silver&Fit® program, which offers four free public workout classes daily on Facebook Live and YouTube.The timing for the launch of the free senior exercise classes could not have been better, according to comments from participants:"Thank you for keeping us safe, healthy and sane during these tough times," says Ethel G."These classes have been life-saving," Lee Ann D. commented."These classes are perfect!" says Teri S. "Every level is available.""Since the launch of our daily free public classes, we’ve received nearly 30,000 comments on how helpful the classes have been during the pandemic," says Jaynie Bjornaraa, PhD., MPH, PT, and AVP of Digital Fitness Solutions with the Silver&Fit program."Older adults know that their quality of life is tied to their fitness level. Those who stop exercising can become deconditioned in as little as two weeks. Silver&Fit’s free, public Facebook Live and YouTube workouts help them keep moving. "The Silver&Fit free, public workouts provide 20 free classes a week for anyone looking to stay fit at home during the pandemic. The half-hour sessions, which are tailored to adults 55 and older, include beginner, intermediate and advanced Cardio, Yoga, Strength & Bodyweight, Flexibility & Balance, and Mixed Format classes. The classes premiere Monday – Friday starting at 9 a.m. PT and continue at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon PT. And for those who need more flexibility in their schedules, the workout videos are available for two weeks after they premiere.Anyone can participate in the free public workouts just by following Silver&Fit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SilverandFit or on their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/silverandfit. All classes are taught by certified instructors with extensive experience leading workouts for older adults."Silver&Fit has seen its class followers grow by nearly 350 percent in seven months, with more than 1.1 million views of our senior workout videos," says Dr. Bjornaraa. The Silver&Fit Healthy Aging and Fitness Program: Now Available to Older Adults Through Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans During Open Enrollment In addition to the free, public daily workouts on Facebook Live and YouTube, Silver&Fit also offers a full, comprehensive Healthy Aging and Fitness program through many Medicare Plans. Current members who are eligible for the full Silver&Fit program through their Medicare plans, or those enrolling in a participating Medicare Plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period from October 15 – December 7, can also take advantage of Silver&Fit’s newly expanded online, home-based and gym-based options designed to accommodate all levels of fitness and workout preferences. Features include:* 1,700+ Digital Fitness Videos. The Silver&Fit online video library offers a broad collection of workout options, allowing members to customize their own at-home exercise routines, such as cardio, strength, yoga, dance, Tai Chi, and many others.* At-Home Fitness Kits. For those who want to create their own workouts at home, the Silver&Fit program offers home fitness kits that may include an exercise DVD, a yoga mat, resistance band, dumbbells, or wearable fitness trackers.* Live Telephone Coaching. Members seeking help with fitness goals or lifestyle improvements can work with a live coach over the phone to obtain advice on fitness, nutrition, sleep, and other healthy living habits.* Access to Social and Community Connections. Members of the Silver&Fit program can browse links to more than 120,000 social organizations ranging from painting and classic car clubs, to nature organizations. This resource encourages members to connect to others via live video or socially distanced meetings.* In-Person Gym Access. As gyms are permitted to open, members who feel comfortable returning can use their subsidized gym benefit to get back on their fitness track. With the Silver&Fit program, seniors can choose from a nation-wide network of more than 15,000 fitness centers, YMCAs, and fitness studios.For information about whether your Medicare plan includes the Silver&Fit program, contact your health plan or 1-800-MEDICARE.Visit www.SilverandFit.com for more information about the program.

BookBites: Diverse Selection of Reading Ideas as We Approach the Holidays

(NewsUSA)"The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives"by Tim Darcy Ellis It is 1522 in The Spanish Netherlands. Juan Luis Vives, a renowned academic, has fled Spain to avoid the fires of the Inquisition. In England, he takes on the role of tutor to Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. While publicly navigating life as a "New Christian," Vives is quickly drawn into the dangerous world of London’s Jewish community.With a foot in each world, he is torn between the love of two women. The king and queen separately seek Vives’s assistance to support their opposed demands. He must betray one to help the other, knowing his decision could cost him his life. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3ca93ZX. "The North Wind Descends"by N.L. Holmes Hani doesn’t know what to make of it when the king starts honoring him, but he must still find the man who killed a foreign ambassador right under the roof of the Egyptian commissioner in Kumidi — a man whose past intersects bizarrely with Hani’s.And then, the queen of the new coregent has a special task for him which may involve dragging Hani’s nineteen-year-old daughter into court politics. He must find a way to see justice done and yet protect his family… and his conscience. Purchase at https://amzn.to/39fk10P. "Memories in the Drift"by Melissa Payne Ten years ago, Claire lost her unborn child — and her short-term memory — following a heartrending tragedy. With fractured pieces of the past and her father’s support, Claire makes it through each day. As determined as Claire is to regain all that’s disappeared, she’d prefer to live without some memories of her before life — especially those of her mother, Alice, who abandoned her, and Tate, the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart.But when Alice and Tate return, there’ll be so much more for Claire to relive — and discover. Claire may realize that what’s most important might not be re-creating the person she was, but embracing the person she is. Purchase at https://amzn.to/32ub8fZ. "The Dentist"by Tim Sullivan Who was the unknown man whose weather-beaten body is discovered on Clifton Downs? Did the tragedy that led to a life on the streets also lead to his death? His police colleagues may dismiss it as a squabble among Bristol’s homeless community, but Detective Sergeant George Cross is not convinced. As he delves into the dead man’s past, Cross becomes convinced that to catch this killer, he needs to solve a cold-case murder from years before that someone thinks they’ve gotten away with. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3j2iYDz. NOTE: BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit BookTrib.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. 

Resumes and Remote Interviews

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored Content – Perfecting a resume and nailing the job interview can be daunting in normal times. With many companies conducting business remotely, this often extends to interviews. Here are some tips to help shore up your resume and nail those remote job interviews:Resumes should be concise. The first thing you should do is look carefully at the job posting you are applying for. Look for any specifics that they are looking for in an applicant, and use the same wording they do in your resume, if it is applicable. You do not need to have paragraphs explaining every little detail about previous jobs and duties. Stick to the high-level details that seem important and make sure it is readable. Highlight your main job responsibilities, if you received any recognition, and impressive metrics that you may have achieved.Put the most important information near the top of the resume.Use a professional, easy-to- read font like Arial or Times New Roman in size 10 – 12. If you are having trouble thinking about what to focus on or how to design your resume, do a search for example resumes relevant to the industry you are applying in. Those may help you think of something in your history that you may not have considered including before.So you’ve got your resume primed and ready to go. Now you have an interview, but it’s remote. One of the most important things about a remote interview is being able to get to it. Find out which video chat service your potential employer is using and familiarize yourself with it before the interview. Just as with an in-person interview, how you present yourself is of great importance. Make sure you have a clean, orderly, quiet backdrop and that you dress appropriately for the interview.You want to give the impression that you are ready to work remotely if necessary, or if not necessary, that you are taking the interview just as seriously. Make sure you close everything on your computer except the program you are using for the interview. This will prevent notifications from going off and help you remain focused on the interviewer.When it comes to resume writing and interviewing, practice makes perfect. Family Credit Management is committed to helping however they can.For a free, no-obligation, resume review and even a mock remote interview with an HR professional, you can send an email to resumereview@familycredit.org.

The Gift We All Need This Holiday Season: Hope

(NewsUSA) – This holiday season, Chick-fil-A wants to inspire people to be a source of hope through a new animated short film and a digital experience to help people connect and share words of encouragement.In the film, the main character of Chick-fil-A’s 2019 animated holiday film, Sam, returns to help restore the missing spark in her town by discovering hope within herself. The driving message of the film is that we can all make a difference in the lives around us by being a source of encouragement to each other.To accompany the film, Chick-fil-A is inviting people to send a digital note with a custom message of hope, gratitude and kindness to friends and family this holiday season. There is no cost, and messages are sent through text or email."This year has been a tough one for a lot of people and has carried challenges and heartaches we never could have anticipated," said Ashley Callahan, Chick-fil-A senior marketing director. "It’s also been a year of hopeful moments, where many have shined brightly, extending acts of kindness and generosity — many of which we’ve experienced firsthand through the actions of our guests, Team Members and others throughout our communities. Those small acts of kindness are the inspiration behind this year’s holiday film and digital experience."In a year of uncertainty, small acts of encouragement, even virtual ones, can make a big difference. In a recent Chick-fil-A survey*, 83 percent of respondents said small acts of kindness are encouraging and 76 percent say they want to be a source of encouragement to others.A small act can spark a lot of hope. With so many friends and families spending time apart this season, this is one way anyone can spark a little hope and encouragement, even miles apart.To watch the animated short film and send a message of hope and encouragement, visit chick-fil-a.com/sparkhope. *Survey commissioned by Chick-fil-A, Inc. and conducted by Morning Consult. 

Think Outside the (Gift) Box, Contribute to a 529 Plan

(NewsUSA) – The holiday season looks different in many ways this year, and chances are finding the perfect gift for your loved one is even more challenging. Shoppers are looking to minimize the amount of time they spend in crowded stores during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and online shopping has its perils, too, with concerns about timely delivery or wondering whether what you see online is what you get.Instead, think outside the box and consider a gift that will have a lifelong impact, the gift of education, by opening or contributing to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan for a loved one.Invest529 is a national program for families in any state. It’s offered by Virginia529, the largest 529 in the United States, and assists students of any age."Education is a gift you might never think to give, but it’s one that will continue to give in ways you might not have considered," explains Mary Morris, CEO of Virginia529."Open a 529 savings plan or contribute to an account that your loved one already has. It will communicate the importance of lifelong learning, saving and preparing for the future," she says. The contribution need not be large, she adds. "Any monetary denomination will be beneficial because it will grow tax-free over time, and you can continue to contribute for milestones, birthdays and future holidays," Morris emphasizes.The creation of a 529 plan has benefits for the giver as well as the recipient. Some key advantages of the plans include:- Practicality: Contributing to a 529 plan is simple. You can contribute any amount that fits your budget and watch it grow tax-free over time.- Versatility: Money from 529 plans can be used for public and private universities, schools nationwide and overseas, graduate programs, vocational schools, private or religious K-12 schools, apprenticeships, and even student loan repayment.- Flexibility: Funds from a 529 plan can be transferred to a family member of any age without penalty or saved for graduate school if plans change or the student gets a scholarship. Alternatively, the funds can always be withdrawn, with only the earnings on your investment being taxed.- Simplicity: Anyone at any age can open a 529 account at any time, and making a contribution is quick and easy, with options for contributions online, through a gift card, or by mail.For more information about giving the gift of education, visit virginia529.com/gifting.

Live Online Academy Prepares Preschoolers for Next Steps

(NewsUSA) – The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is reshaping and challenging the field of education, particularly early childhood education, where the benefits of in-person school are well understood but simply not an option for many children for at least the remainder of the current school year.Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies, a leading national childcare provider, recognized the need for more options for early childhood education for children unable to attend preschool in person, and responded by creating the Kids ‘R’ Kids Online Learning Academy.The Kids ‘R’ Kids Online Academy is an online learning platform designed to engage early learners in a structured, curriculum-based platform that allows for teacher and peer interaction. It helps preschoolers practice developmentally appropriate key concepts in topics including literacy, math, science, and social studies while having fun and refining physical and social/emotional skills as well.The Online Academy includes live, interactive 30-minute classes Monday through Friday, hosted by a certified teacher. The activities are based on the exclusive, research-based Kids ‘R’ Kids curriculum, and children are able to ask questions, play games, and participate in arts and crafts.Children are online together, so teachers can get to know them and call on them to respond and participate. However, there is no camera or video access on the child’s side for safety and privacy.Parents and their preschoolers report high levels of satisfaction with the program, as one mom in Texas says on behalf of her son, "we have felt very guilty about keeping him at home even though we know this is all just temporary. When we heard about the ability to give him 30 minutes of education a day, plus the ABC Mouse account to complement the curriculum, we did not think twice. Not only is this bringing intellectual enrichment to his daily routine but also great STEAM activities that I would just not have come up with on my own," she posted on the Online Learning website."This is obviously not the same as getting to physically interact with other children of the same age, but it is a really close second place," she adds.In addition, the Kids ‘R’ Kids blog serves as another resource for parent tips, STEAM activities, and other information about school readiness.The Online Academy is available to preschoolers in any geographic location, and the child does not need to be enrolled in a Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy to participate.Visit krkonlineacademy.com for more information about online learning to keep preschoolers engaged and on track for school readiness. 

‘Fantasy Commodities’ to Take Daily Fantasy Sports Higher

(NewsUSA) -The ‘father’ of fantasy sports league management has teamed up with the renowned American economist and "The End of Money" author to create what could become the hottest and largest addition of the multi-billion dollar Daily Fantasy Sports industry.Fantasy Commodities™ games involve forecasting changes in relative prices among commodities — including base metals such as aluminum and copper; precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum; energy products such as crude oil, gasoline, and natural gas; and agricultural products such as wheat, corn, coffee, pork bellies, etc.It should be a lot of fun and quite profitable for those who become skilled players from all over the world and can remain under a salary cap while earning points based on the actual performances of the commodities in their real-world daily trading.The games founders are considering possible partnerships with New York-based FanDuel, and the Boston-based DraftKings in order to expedite the launch of their patent-pending Fantasy Commodities™ contest to the millions of millennials and other looking to test their daily "draft" skills outside sports.Patrick Hughes is known as the father of modern fantasy sports for co-creating Miller Franchise Football, which featured a beer distributor sell-in video hosted by the legendary John Madden. He then co-created Fox Fantasy Football, which led to the creation and licensing of several of the leading league management fantasy sports sites featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo!, USA Today and others. Hughes eventually sold his business to a unit of News Corporation and his games have been displayed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and in Super Bowl cities.Richard Rahn is a former Chief Economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, former board member of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and a member of the team that years ago developed the first successful petroleum futures contract for the New York Mercantile Exchange and wrote "The End of Money and the Struggle for Financial Privacy. "Also on the www.fantasycommodities.com team is international trade attorney and "Barter in the World Economy" author, Bart Fisher.Fantasy sports is a multi-billion-dollar industry that has run into some headwinds because of COVID-19 shutdowns and the limited number of suitable sports, and countries with enough teams and leagues to support fantasy sports betting. Despite the difficulties, the big dogs such as FanDuel and DraftKings see a bright future, which is the reason that Yahoo! and now Facebook have indicated they may enter the field of Daily Fantasy Sports.Fantasy Commodities™ games will require only low entry fees, limiting the risk relative to current commodities futures trading and stock trading. There are at least a couple of dozen globally traded commodities with a "one-world-price," which have sufficient liquidity to make the creation of a large variety of these games viable and should broaden the player market to more than 180 countries. 

Stunning Stadium Replicas Make Holiday Gift Giving Easy

Five words or less(NewsUSA) -This year’s holiday season is not what anyone expected, with cancelled sports events and abbreviated seasons. However, there are still reasons to celebrate, and a stunning desktop replica of a favorite stadium will bring some much-needed joy to sports fans, whether or not they attended a game in person this year.
Many sports stadiums, both old and new, are works of architectural elegance. The exquisite replicas from Westbrook Sports Classics present these iconic structures from a new perspective that lets fans enjoy the beauty of their favorite ballparks at home on a desk, table, or bookshelf.
The stadium reproductions measure approximately 7 by 7 inches, weigh approximately 10-12 pounds, and come with a protective acrylic case. The models are designed and created by John Kimball Westbrook, an award-winning artist whose background includes both architecture and commercial art. Mr. Westbrook also spent time in Washington, DC, on a scholarship to study with Italian stone carvers during the completion of the National Cathedral, where he developed his passion for sculpture.
“Over the past 30 years, I have worked with different fine art mediums, including carving marble, granite, various semi-precious stones, bronze, wood, ivory, silversmithing, drawing and painting,” Mr. Westbrook explains on his website.
The limited-edition ballparks are cast in a bronze composite and mounted on a natural black marble base. Mr. Westbrook creates each mold by hand over a period of approximately two months. Fans will appreciate the attention to details such as handpainted seats and the use of tiny crystals inserted into light poles that refract light to give the appearance of the stadium at night.
The Westbrook Sports collection to date features 17 Major League Baseball stadiums, historic and current, including Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox; Candlestick Park, the former home of the San Francisco Giants; the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field; and both old and new versions of Yankee Stadium. All Major League Baseball trademark copyrights are used with the permission of Major League Baseball. Mr. Westbrook plans to expand the collection to National Football League stadiums, NCAA college stadiums, and British football (soccer) stadiums as well.
For more information and to view photos of stadium models, visit westbrooksportsclassics.com.

Financial Planning Tips to Maximize Your Giving

(NewsUSA) – Everyone believes in a good cause. Especially now, when individuals and organizations are struggling in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. People want to support causes they care about, whether through volunteering, donating goods or services, or making a financial contribution.The ability to make a financial contribution to a cause that matters to you will likely vary throughout your lifetime. As a younger person starting out, your financial resources may be more limited or spread across areas including home purchase, student loans, starting a business, or starting a family.The financial planning profession recognizes that people want to support organizations that are meaningful to them without compromising other financial goals, such as repaying debt or planning for retirement.The CFP Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, can help individuals assess their financial positions and plan for how much they can budget for charitable giving."A CFP professional can help you clarify your financial objectives and determine which charitable giving options are best suited to help you meet your goals," says Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, a CFP Board Ambassador.Some factors to consider in your planning include putting your personal situation first. Don’t shortchange your regular monthly expenses for housing, loans, or other essentials, then consider giving money to charity.Other tips to make the most of charitable giving:- Maximize your money. Some employers match charitable contributions. Also, writing a check directly to a charity lets you deduct the full amount vs. paying to attend a fundraising event. Do your research and find out what percentage of donations directly support the organization’s mission.- Stick to your plan. It’s easy to blow a budget for charitable giving, especially during difficult times when everyone is asking for help. Set priorities, choose your favorite organizations, and send your money there, rather than spreading your funds thin. Also consider whether monthly or yearly contributions make sense depending on the consistency of your income.- Think outside the checkbook. You don’t have to give from your regular salary to make an impact. If you have an interest or skill that you can use as a side business, donate those profits. Sell time at a vacation home when you aren’t using it and donate that money.Visit letsmakeaplan.org for more information about the CFB Board and for tips and advice on how to make charitable giving part of your financial planning strategy. 

Use, Don’t Lose Flexible Spending Account Funds

(NewsUSA) – The end of the year is a scramble, and it’s particularly stressful this year for the millions of Americans enrolled in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) who need to spend down account funds by December 31 or risk forfeiting those dollars back to their employers.As the deadline rapidly approaches, FSAstore.com, the largest online retail source for everything flex spending with zero guesswork, is lending a hand to help consumers maximize the potential of their healthcare benefits. What is an FSA? An FSA is an employer-sponsored account that allows individuals to contribute pre-tax income to a tax-advantaged account that they can use throughout the year to pay for an extensive list of approved medical products and services (also known as eligible expenses).The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how American families use their FSAs. According to a recent FSAstore.com survey, more than 50% of account holders will have more FSA funds to spend this deadline period than in previous years. That means an end-of-year plan is especially important this year. 10 Ways to Spend Down Your Remaining FSA Funds According to FSAstore.com, here are 10 popular ways to spend remaining funds before December 31:1. Get a flu shot. The CDC provides a great rundown on what families should know.2. Upgrade everyday medical supplies, such as thermometers, heating pads, and steam inhalers.3. Plan ahead with at-home COVID-19 test kits and make holiday travel and gatherings safer.4. Newly Eligible for 2020: Buy over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and cold and allergy treatments, which became fully eligible in 2020.5. Newly Eligible for 2020: Replenish your supply of menstrual care products such as tampons, pads, period underwear, and more, which also became eligible for the first time ever this year.6. Get an eye exam or new eyewear. Contacts, prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses are covered.7. Buy everyday essentials that support your personal health and lifestyle. Things like athletic tape and braces for the sports lover; first-aid kits for the outdoor enthusiast; mom-and-baby bundles for expectant or new parents; and sun and skin care for warm weather travel are all eligible.8. Manage your health with high-tech health devices, such as smartphone-enabled blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, pain relief devices, baby health monitors, and more.9. Boost well-being and preventive care measures with drug-free pain relief products and devices, light-therapy acne treatments, and preventive care items.10. Save time by shopping FSAstore.com’s product bundles, which feature health essentials in one package. Bundles range in cost from $45 to $400 and include things such as a Baby Care Bundle, Family Essentials, Pain Relief, and Travel Essentials.With 2020 coming to a close, it may be time to "use-it-or-lose-it." Shop FSAstore.com, the web’s largest selection of eligible products to turn those excess funds into 2021’s first success story.