Dave L.


Turning a Spare Room into a Gym

Just imagine that the New Year has come around again, and you’ve started making the resolutions that will help you throw off the excesses of Christmas. You get a gym membership, and then, like many others, you go once and never again. You’re paying for something that you don’t use, and if that’s not a waste of your money, then what is?

Why not set up your own home gym in a spare room? It can be as cheap or expensive as you like, depending on the equipment that you want, and it’s available at any time without you having to step out of your home. What’s not to like?

Sorting out the basics

First, you need to look at your room space and determine what equipment will easily fit inside. Then, you need to think about what your fitness goals are.

If you’re looking to build up your strength, which can help you with weight loss through burning fat, developing muscle and becoming a stronger runner, then a spare room gym could be for you. It doesn’t require a whole lot of room because you’ll be using equipment such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells. Doing strength training can improve your joint strength and increase your muscle mass and should be a priority for your home gym experience.

For aerobic goals that include running and cycling, you may be able to get out of the house and run or bike outdoors. However, this is not always possible or desirable in extreme weather, so consider installing an exercise bike, a rowing machine and a treadmill in your home. Check that you have the space and remember that you don’t have to buy them all, as they can be expensive. You will, however, get superb use out of these machines and build up your stamina, improve your endurance and increase your cardio function.

Mix and match your training with some strength and aerobic exercises to develop your fitness over several months.

Preparing your space

Make the best of what you’ve got, but ensure that your home gym space feels light and airy to encourage a sense of the outdoors. A dark, stuffy room is unlikely to encourage you to train hard. Everything doesn’t have to be painted magnolia – use colors that stimulate you, and to help with the light, install DIY shutters. These are simple to install and allow you to control how much light comes into your gym. They’re also easy to clean and give a sleek, efficient feel to your workout room.

New horizons

Getting fit is never effortless, and you may know people who have tried but given up after a short while. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience, which is why a home gym is such a good solution.

You can choose your own decor, decide on the equipment that will be most effective for what you want to achieve and even install a sound system of TV screen to help you along the way. Plan what you want, set yourself a budget and convert your spare room into a gym that will give you health benefits over and over again.

Unravel the Many Shades of UK by Train

Over 8.3 million tourists visited the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2017, and the number further increased as we crossed the halfway point of the year. Travellers worldwide love this Western European island nation that comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s the magic of dramatic landscapes, eccentric people, and rich culture that makes it one of the world’s most alluring travel destinations.

Are you ready with your battered suitcase to see the UK, fill your eyes with wonder and collect new travel tales? Let’s go!

Places that you must see

A great way to spend your afternoons is by visiting England’s iconic structures that are reminders of the glorious past. Tick off the London landmark Big Ben, neoclassical Buckingham Palace, the rare prehistoric monument Stonehenge and medieval castle Tower of London from your travel bucket list. If you love the idea of walking among the trees, the Lake District National Park in North West England and Hyde Park in Central London will soothe your soul. One of the unique travel experiences in England is discovering over 230 ancient monuments on the Isles of Scilly.

Feel like royalty while holidaying in Wales as it is home to many castles like Conwy, Cardiff, and Caernarfon. Active travellers and adventure seekers must visit the Snowdonia National Park where you can walk, trek, cycle and set up a camp to eat & relax. If you wish to learn about the Welsh culture, then you could spend a few hours at the St Fagans National Museum of History and National Museum Cardiff.

Sign up for a guided Edinburgh tour that would introduce you to the top attractions of the capital city, when you are pressed for time. However, if you love slow travel then visit the Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland and Scott Monument at your own pace. If you love trying out new things, then Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions near Edinburgh Castle is a fun place to visit with friends. Another great experience is wine-tasting at the Scotch Whisky Experience where you can learn about the distilling of Scotch whisky along with a barrel ride.

Getting Around the UK by Train

UK’s large and efficient railway network is the perfect mode of travel to explore the country. Train passes in UK make it far more convenient, comfortable and economical than other forms of transport, as far as discovering the hidden nooks and crannies are concerned. To save money, time and effort, buy rail passes before your trip. Be it individual country train passes, UK unlimited travel passes, specific city/region passes or BritRail Europe pass, International Rail offers a wide range of passes at nominal prices to fulfil every explorer’s travel needs.

Choosing The Right Artist Tablet For You

It’s pretty much a given that anybody using a computer for any serious design needs a good tablet. Selecting drawing tablets for artists can be daunting because of the many options out there.

Are you thinking of getting your first artist tablet, or perhaps upgrading? Here are some things to think about while making that big decision:

Pressure Sensitivity:

People’s preferences vary, but in general, the more sensitivity the better. You should definitely try various models out to get your own feel for this, paying special attention. If you have friends who have tablets, try them out for an hour or so and check out how you respond to their feel. Wacom is a favorite among most tablet buyers, to be honest, and these models consistently get the best reviews


This one is partially based on personal preference but really mainly based on what the tablet’s principal use will be. Applications like CAD require a bigger tablet in general, or at least having a bigger tablet is a huge advantage for CAD. Other applications may be better paired with smaller tablets which are less fragile and more portable. Obviously, how often you plan to take the tablet out of your home has a big impact on this as well.


Will the artist tablet in question be used for painting? Coloring? Editing photos? Drawing? Design? All of these applications have tablets best suited for these applications. Cintiq has tablets that specialize in drawing applications, but Wacom has recently made inroads into this market as well. Design is probably the lightest of these applications, and many designers actually prefer the mouse, but this is up to personal preference as well. Other designers definitely feel that they increase their productivity with the right tablet at hand. Only you can know what is right for you.

Consider Second Hand:

Artist tablets, especially the really good models, can be expensive, so don’t be afraid to check out the second hand market. There are some good deals to be had out there. In the case of something like an artist tablet, it is definitely recommended to meet the seller in person and take the unit for an extended “test drive” before putting your money down. Also consider using secure methods of payment such as Paypal and including a proviso for any unforseen technical issues in the first 30 days or so after buying.