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5 Must-Know Tips For Buying A 4K TV This Xmas

5 Must-Know Tips For Buying A 4K TV This Xmas

The upcoming holiday season means now is the time of year when stores are hosting blowout sales for any and every piece of technology, which means if you were looking to upgrade your TV, it’s time to hit the street and look for deals.

For those looking for a serious TV upgrade, 4K Ultra High Definition televisions are the new gold standard for home viewing. They offer an incredibly good quality and have few downsides, making them excellent television sets. However, as with any expensive and advanced piece of equipment, you’re going to want to know a little bit about them before you whip out your card to make a purchase. Here are five must-know tips before shopping for a 4K television this Christmas.

1. Ensure that it is an Ultra HD television

Although 4K televisions have been around for at least two years, it wasn’t until this year that the UHD Premium branding came into existence, establishing a set of criteria for the quality of a television to be considered Ultra HD.

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4K televisions don’t all meet this criteria, but many take advantage of the fact that consumers know next to nothing about the UHD Premium branding. For examples, there is still a debate around ULED vs OLED for display screens, but neither is definitely better than the other when it comes to high-resolution technology.

Be sure your television does have it, as that means it met the following certifications: a resolution of at least 3840×2160; 10-bit color depth; a minimum brightness and darkness set by the organization; the ability to display at least 90 percent of the P3 color gamut; and high-dynamic range.

2. Pay attention to the HDR10/Dolby difference

There’s two different types of high-dynamic range, or HDR, technology on the market: an open format, HDR10, and a closed format by Dolby that is installed with a chip. The two differences matter insofar as different companies will have preferences towards one or the other, and some content producers don’t release videos that are compatible with both versions, which means you may need to consider what content is on the market before deciding on either HDR10 or Dolby.

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The former, as an open format, can be installed on Dolby televisions later, but a chip cannot be installed to make a television Dolby-formatted later on.

3. 4K content is increasingly available

On the other hand, no matter what decision you make on HDR technology, know that media that takes advantage of a 4K television’s stunning detail is increasingly available, including on major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

There’s still some debate between Paid TV services which are at the forefront of offering 4K content, and other free services like YouTube which are also quickly increasing 4K content. Since the iPhone 6, home-produced 4K content has exploded, which means even your phone videos and photos can be displayed in full, crisp incredible quality on a 4K television.

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4. Consider a smart TV

A smart TV that can connect to the internet and will be the best way to enjoy 4K content on your 4K television. So much of it comes from online streaming services and online video aggregators that without an internet connectivity, your television will rarely be able to feature 4K technology without the additional purchase of a 4K Blue-Ray player or a sudden increase in television shows airing in 4K, which is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

This can also be a major boom for 4K gaming, which is also taking off. Microsoft recently released a 4K-compatible XBox, and Sony offers 4K game service PlayStation Now, which requires an internet connection.

5. You will spend a good chunk of money

There’s no way to dance around it: 4K televisions remain expensive for the average shopper, although they’ve certainly come a long way from the selling points of $25,000 or more. A good 4K television will cost you several thousand dollars. The range can vary from the mid-1000s to about $6,000 for lower-end 4K televisions, and between $15,000 and $40,000 for higher-end models.

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Although a small handful of 4K televisions are on the market for less than $1000, mostly by Seiki, they’re generally pretty bare-bones, poor performers, and you can get a much better quality television that isn’t 4K for the price. Below $1000, you’re buying a cheap television for the chance to say you have a 4K television.

If a 4K television is right for you, this holiday season is the time to get to the stores and start comparison shopping for a new, beautiful and high-quality television. But if you can’t afford to drop more than $1000 on one set, skip the 4K this year – it’ll probably be available next year for much cheaper.

Featured photo credit: LG전자 via flic.kr

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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