OK, so I'm constantly trying to find new ways of making my work day more fun. After all, I am a Graphic Designer and in general a high energy person. Health is also something that I take pretty seriously these days. So when I started reading about studies indicating that sitting all day is not good on our bodies, I began trying different methods to raise my Mac and secondary monitor so I could work standing up. Like for instance my first attempt was borrowing some paper reams from the nearby printer station and stacking them. This was fine for a little while until someone needed some paper for the printer and I had all of it. Then ultimately there are those times when sitting was necessary because maybe I had a bunch of paperwork that needed to all be out in front of me. OR, I just got TIRED OF STANDING! Which happened pretty quickly when I first started this adventure. Trying to switch between standing and sitting each time was becoming quite the chore and just wasn't going to be practical going forward. Standing was kind of fun. I found myself sort of dancing a bit when listening to music and in general had a more upbeat vibe than normal. I joked that mine was a dancing desk. So it was settled, standing while working is kind of awesome and I wish I'd tried it years ago. OK, so since I already had a workstation/cube desk, I needed to get an adjustable option that could sit on top of my existing desk. In comes the adjustable-desk. These puppies range in price from about $150 for the one pictured in the image above to several hundred depending on if you want a manual setup or one that is motorized. I went with a $150, 36in. wide, manual version to try out. It fits my 27in iMac and 27in secondary monitor perfectly and is easy to lift up and move back down due to the hydraulic pistons. You barely can tell all that weight is on top. I love it. Several people at my office have expressed interest in also purchasing one for their workstation with one already jumping up to an adjustable desk just last month (they love it too). In all, I really do enjoy standing while designing and working. I have more energy, my back feels much better as does my stomach/gut and I stand taller too! Of course there are times where my feet and ankles get sore and then I adjust back to a sitting position for a bit. After the first few weeks I was standing for most of the day thanks to the discovery online of special mats that cushion your feet while standing for long periods of time. Wow, was that a game changer. Now it's 2019 and the new hot item is an anti-fatigue mat that has various raised surfaces to keep you moving and allow for different stances throughout the day. The one I have has raised lips of varying heights and thicknesses along with several massage points which keep my feet happy and offer some fun ways of standing besides just flat footed and that really makes the anti-fatigue function of the mat much better in my opinion. After trying the mat out for a few days I can say that it's 100% necessary to get one or you won't enjoy standing for most of the day. Your back and ankles will thank you daily. So after about 6 months give or take of using the adjustable desk it shows no signs of wear and it still works the same as when I first opened the box it came in. Which by the way the product came completely assembled. All I had to do was take it out of the box and put it on my existing desk, and Bam! Do your research and find the brand and model that's perfect for you. Obviously an electronic, motorized desk is going to be the way to go if you can afford it, but as I've said the manual version is working out just fine for me. What are your thoughts on a standing workspace? Do you already have one or are you planning on purchasing? Let me know in the comments section. Some companies even offer them for free, you just need to inquire within. Well good luck everyone with the continued pursuit of the perfect, most comfortable workspace. Until next, Bark! Bark!
It's the dead of winter and all you want to do is get out on the mountain bike. But, where can you go that's not snowy and muddy in Colorado you ask? Look no further than Pueblo. A short drive from Denver to the south and you can ride all year long. Specifically, I'm talking about a high-plains desert destination called Pueblo Lake State Park. The single track riding here is great fun. Loads of flow trails and enough technical terrain for all abilities of riders. From the parking area there is a bit of a punch up some steep terrain. I usually end up walking my bike up. I always try and push it a little, but unfortunate just don't have the stamina to crank up some parts. No big deal. You soon crest up onto a mesa and the rest of the trail system is relativity flat and rolling. As long as there hasn't been any snow within a few days the trails are typically completely dry. It just doesn't snow a lot here. From the park you can also access the paved trail system that follows along the Arkansas river for a more relaxing day of riding... but, I recommend the single track trails. You can spend the entire day in the park riding all the different trails. You can ride a second day here again too or, when it's spring/summer ride nearby trail systems. The closest civilization is Pueblo, CO and it offers decent food and lodging options. Next, time it's going to be a nice day in the middle of winter, you know where to head. So where do you ride in the winter months to get your mountain biking fix? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, Bark! Bark!
How would you like to sit anywhere you want and work on your Mac. Astropad is an app for iPad/Mac. It allows you to turn your iPad into a graphics tablet. Add your favorite stylus pen like Wacom's products or Apple's Pencil and wow are you styling. I enjoy sitting on my couch in a different room than my Mac is. I can even sit outside as long as I'm close enough to my wi-fi. The company behind this product is very active in developing the app further and are constantly making improvements. I own an iPad 2 and really enjoyed the experience working with this app. The iPad Pro is more powerful and has a bigger screen, so that's the tablet of choice for this product. This is just a great idea and it continues to get better and better. Let me know in the comments what you think about this exciting app. Until next time... Bark! Bark!
Well this came to my attention recently. The folks over at America's Test Kitchen have devised a great way to create custom, personalized cookbooks. It's a great way to create a quick gift for any home chef. Pick recipes for a particular diet style or just pick and choose the perfect assortment. It's totally free and great fun to just tinker around and build a cookbook. Go and try it out today and let me know what you think. Until next time... Bark! Bark!
Well It's that time of year where for most of us the fitness goals are starting to slip. The motivation to get out and exercise has run it course and now you're getting lazy again. I have discovered a really fun way to get motivated to walk more outside and on the treadmill. Zombies, Run! is an app that mixes running and an active story where your actions control the outcome. The app mixes a verbal story in short spurts over your selected music. There is so much going on with this fitness app. You can just run with the chapters of the story. Or, you can run to a destination on the map in the real world or pickup items and checkpoints along the way. They even have virtual 5K races which I can't wait to try out soon. As you gather items along the way of your runs, you can use them to upgrade your virtual "base" within the app. Just another fun motivator to get out and run/walk. I'm personally not into running at all, but really enjoy long walks outside or on my treadmill. Obviously, you're aware that I'm also really into riding mountain bikes. You can use this app while riding a bike too. There are features that allow the use of GPS or it can be run in a mode without it when you are inside the gym. Either way the engaging stories play out in chapters which are about 30 minutes in length. Once you reach the end of a chapter there is a mock radio station with DJs that talk about funny stuff along with your music until you are done working out. The story has been great so far and quite funny. I have laughed out loud several times. I personally love gadgets like this. Get out there. Get some sun. Get moving! Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments. Until next time, Bark! Bark!
Well, 2017 is almost over and what an interesting year it has been. So much has happened. I can't wait to see what exciting things are to come in 2018. Hopefully this is the year I stay on track with my health goals. Wink, wink. Time to set those goals for next year folks. What are you looking forward to in 2018?