'That Peter Crouch Podcast' is one of my favourite podcasts out there in the world, every episode is packed full of football experiences and plenty of banter with a massive following. The special guest on the episode released on the 29th July was none other than Prince William. As president of the Football Association, the Duke of Cambridge has been keen to use his role to start conversations around mental health, including helping to rename the 2020 FA Cup final the Heads Up FA Cup final.
You can read more with BBC Sport...
A poll of 2,000 people has found that six in 10 are increasingly aware of the need to get time to themselves with some people getting up to three hours every single day. The Sun has more...
With three-quarters of men in the UK putting off going to the doctor – and even more so now – here’s how to keep an eye on things at home, and when to seek help! The Mirror has those helpful tips...
"Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years."
Whoever came up with this quote was definitely on to something. Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure. Stress is a worldwide 21st century problem that can cause physical problems such as higher blood pressure, muscle tension and digestive problems, while long-term stress can lead to serious health issues including depression and anxiety.
So many of us homeowners find ourselves wishing for a back deck, patio or gazebo space for entertaining or just relaxing outdoors. Everybody has a different vision for what they want that space to look like - some love the idea of a screened in porch with an a tin roof, others want an open and sunny deck space with weather-treated wood, and some of us just want a small gazebo with comfortable furniture, tucked in a shady spot away from the elements.
No matter what sort of outdoor space you’re interested in, you can build something that will stand the test of time in durability, provide your family with hours of fun and relaxation, and up the property value of your home - all while staying on budget. So what do you need for your perfect outdoor addition? That’s up to everyone’s individual taste, but there are definitely some decisions to make before you get started. Here’s what to consider:
Are you building a deck or patio just off the back door, or do you prefer to build a deck space around another point in the yard, such as a pool or pond? Do you want to build a gazebo or small patio in a garden or shaded area? While off-the-house decks and porches are the most popular, many people elect to build outdoor areas in other parts of their yard. Deciding your location should be your first step, because this determines the shape and size of your deck, as well as the materials you’ll need. Think of what you want to get out of your outdoor addition. That will help you decide where it is best located.
Most decks and gazebos are made of wood, while patios can be as simple as a concrete slab just off the house, wood, or something else entirely. In recent years, composite materials have also become popular for deck and porch building, for those who don’t wish to utilize wood. There are plenty of things to consider when deciding what materials to use for building - what matches/goes with your house, whether or not it’s weather/sun proof (and if not, can it be easily treated), cost, and more. Take the time to research different building materials to determine what fits with your style and budget.
Once you’ve got building materials out of the way, now you’ve got to decide about the rest of the project materials. Do you want to screen in your deck? There are many different types of screens, shades, and more to choose from. Will you use carpet for flooring and keep the natural wood? For the roof of your structure, if you have one, what type of materials would you like? There are many roofing options, from insulated roof panels to steel, to wood planking, and more. Will your structure have doors and windows, or will it be more basic? You should also think about safety measures for any steps or ramps you install.
Once you’ve got all the building materials sorted, you’ll want to think about how to finish your deck. Will you stain the flooring? Paint? Use carpet? Purchase weather shading? For many, decorating their deck space and making it their own is the best part of building a new outdoor structure. Making sure to buy durable materials that will stand the test of time through sun and rain is really important.
The same is true for any furniture you buy for your outdoor space. There are all sorts of amazing tables, benches, settees and accessories for outdoor spaces, but not all are created equal. Some brands are more about flash and appearance than durability. You want furnishings and decorations that won’t fall apart the first time it rains. And investing in a tarp to protect these items in harsh winters is a good idea, too.
If you live in an area with a lot of pests, up the comfort of your family and your guests by investing in a few citronella plants or candles to keep around. These come in a variety of styles, sizes and options so you can pick something that matches your decor and keeps pesky bugs like mosquitos and ticks away.
Making an outdoor space your own is so much fun. Get creative with various plants and flowers, outdoor accessories such as vases and collectibles, match your cushions and furniture to the decor of your home, and be sure to have lots of seating for all the guests who will inevitably arrive to enjoy your outdoor space!
If you use your outdoor space to store valuable items such as elaborate grills or smokers, or sports equipment like bikes, you may want to invest in some security and keep the outdoor space locked up when it’s not in use. Many screen doors come with high-quality locks and deadbolts. You can also equip your outdoor space with your security system, though this can be tricky in rural areas, due to nocturnal animals that may come rummaging around the property. At the very least, some security lights are a good idea. It’s advisable not to use your outdoor spaces for storage of expensive items unless you have a good security measure in place.
While some people are content to design and build their own decks, porches, patios and gazebos, there are plenty of people who hire a designer to do the hard work for them. However you choose to build yourself an outdoor structure is totally up to you; there’s great design firms everywhere as well as amazing and easy to follow DIY plans online.
Whatever route you decide to go, as long as you choose the right building materials, follow a well thought out plan, and build a safe, accessible and secure structure, the finished result will be an outdoor addition that will give your family and friends relaxation, joy and fun for years to come. However you paint, stain, decorate or furnish your outdoor living spaces, they are guaranteed to be a beneficial addition to any home.
During this stressful time, some people may be experiencing more stress than normal. There are plenty of techniques and methods out there, but Coach Magazine has advice on how athletes deal with when the stress of training begins to take its toll.
Its been said that you need three 'energy boosts' a day to keep yourself going! The Mirror has a top 50 list of ideas to keep you moving forward!
With the way the world is at the moment, it's more important than ever you look after your emotional health as well as the physical. myprotein.com explains why..
Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak can be an isolating time for many people, with some worried about how they will manage to keep in touch with family and friends without seeing them.
Video calling is one way of keeping up communication, but is it as effective as seeing someone in real life? Head over to Sky News to find out more!
For those of you that don't like talking about poo, maybe its time to read another story, but for those of you that do, here is some good news about your mental health! A recent study has shown that going for a poo is actually good for your mental health! UNILad has more!
Its all about happiness isn't it? Starting the day on the right foot without the bad morning habits is the way forward! Boots has some ideas on how to start your day well!
It's been said many times before but science has the proof to say that plants do make you happier and healthier! myfitnesspal.com has the science behind the plants!
Its when you have the best intentions that sometimes, your mind goes a bit too far and you end up ruining everything yourself! myfitnesspal.com tells of five common habits that can sabotage your own self-control!
Thoughts are incredibly powerful and in your head, those thoughts are what your reality is meant to be. But most of the time, what you think will happen, actually won't! Tony Robbins has a break down on how to stop overthinking!
Sharing your goals with others doesn't just help with losing weight but also with anything you want to do in life. If someone else knows what you are planning and want to do, having that someone hold you accountable can help keep you on the straight and narrow! myfitnesspal.com has the lowdown!
If you are struggling to get yourself out of bed, how about some tips on how to jump up and get ready to smash your day?! The Muse have 6 tips to get you going!
Tasha Frampton had a dream to have her own family but was told she would need to have a dramatic weight loss to help make it all come true! The Mirror has more..
We all know that sugar is bad for you, especially the extras that aren't natural, Women's Health can tell you what will happen to you when you cut these right down!
How does a 15 minute full body workout sound to you? It won't be easy but Women's Health have it all with videos!
Depression is extremely common in the modern world and affects more people than you think and as its often not seen, you don't always know who may well be suffering. On the flip side, knowing how to help someone with depression can be difficult especially if you've never suffered from depression yourself.
Women's Health have a feature on this which could help..
Do you get enough sleep? Its a silly question I know but just how much is enough? The Sun has some words of wisdom on just how much you need!
From foodie to fitness fanatic! Its very possible but sometimes only the strongest wills can get you from A to B! You can read Aaron's fitness journey via the good people at myprotein.com
Walking can be the easiest form of exercise that could be done but sometimes just walking isn't enough for some people and rightly so! Fitbit.com has a few suggestions for what can make things a bit more interesting!
You've been in the gym for a while, you've gone through your routine and you can feel those muscles have been worked, stretched with that sweat running down your back... YAY! BUT how do you know you've actually had a really good session?! Joe.co.uk can give you the info you need to know!
If you've decided to brave it and go into the world of yoga, what exactly is the best type for you? Coach Magazine has a guide that could well help you decide!
If you'd like a guide for the best kit with jumping into the world of yoga, RelaxLikeABoss.com has the perfect guide!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live