Can a Video Game Make Better Athletes?

Athletes who want to improve their performance may want to spend more time sitting in front of computers instead of only hitting the gym. IntelliGym – a software platform made by Applied Cognitive Engineering that got its start training Air Force pilots – has branched out to give hockey, basketball and soccer players a new way to train without taxing their bodies.

Video Games Can Train Athletes to Play Smarter
Practicing a sport in real life is an obvious requirement for athletes who want to excel. In recent years though, scientists have found that playing certain types of video games can train athletes to play smarter on the field or court.

Somewhat surprisingly, the most effective video games don’t attempt to replicate the experience of playing sports. Instead, athletes get the most benefits from playing games that encourage them to think about sports in abstract ways. This approach to training forces players to react quickly to challenging scenarios that they can apply to real-world sports.

IntelliGym offers low-fidelity games that force players to make quick decisions without getting distracted by the high-fidelity simulations. Making the sports more realistic wouldn’t have the same effect. By separating decision-making from the sports environment, athletes have a chance to train their brains in a way that enhances their skills during competition.

Athletes See Notable Improvements After Using IntelliGym
Research shows that IntelliGym improves athletic performance by 35 percent. It takes about five weeks before players can expect to see on-the-field improvements. During those five weeks, athletes sit down to play games for 30 minutes twice a week. Since the video games don’t require any physical exertion, athletes can easily incorporate them into their typical training schedules.

The company claims practically any type of athlete can see notable improvements after playing IntelliGym games for five weeks. The software has already become popular among professional, college and amateur players. Parents can even purchase games for young athletes. Coaches can introduce it to college players. Professional athletes can choose to play the games to help them develop better skills.

A Proven Record of Success
Applied Cognitive Engineering has been making IntelliGym games since 2005. It has gained significant popularity among athletes over the last decade. In fact, some people believe that IntelliGym is responsible for improving the overall abilities of athletes.

In 2013, the New York Times reported that USA Hockey had been using IntelliGym for five seasons. The game seems to have had a positive impact on young hockey players who use it.

IntelliGym may even explain why young American hockey players have become so competitive in recent years. While the senior men’s hockey team hasn’t won a championship since 1996, the American junior and youth teams have excelled. The future of American hockey, therefore, may have more to do with video games than spending extra time on the ice.

How to Talk To Your Loved One about Their Snoring Problem

There comes a time in every relationship when you simply can’t go on ignoring it. It’s a problem for every couple at some point when one of them snores.
The big question is, how do you talk to your loved one about their problem without hurting their feelings or giving the wrong impression?
Luckily I am here to help you with that. Keep reading to find out the best way to bring this up and the best way to handle this sensitive subject.

What You Can Expect
Typically, when you bring your partner’s snoring to their attention you can expect four main things to present themselves in some way. Your partner may only react with one or more of these.
The four big things are denial, feelings of helplessness, fear, and embarrassment. Any one of these can get in the way of the conversation. However, to understand how to deal with these four elements, you must first understand why your partner feels that way.
The feeling of being helpless in this situation is very common. Even with the popularity of the internet and sites like this one, few people know that any snoring solutions exist.
Since that is the case, they simply don’t know what to do. This leaves them feeling helpless. If your partner feels this way it is up to you to inform them of the truth.
Let them know that they do have options. Let them know that they can put an end to it. Let them know that it isn’t a death sentence for your relationship.
Denial is very common as well. How do they know you aren’t just making this up? Maybe no one has ever told them that they snore. The chances of them knowing without someone telling them are next to nothing.
If this is the problem then the easiest thing you can do is record your loved one snoring. It’s hard to deny solid proof. So many cell phones can take videos now that this shouldn’t be a difficult task.
Fear and embarrassment tend to go together in this situation. Your loved one may be scared that you won’t love them as much or sleep next to them anymore.
A lot of guys won’t admit it, but being close to their partner at night is important to them too. It’s almost the exact same story for embarrassment. They don’t want you to think less of them because they snore. That could really hurt them. Nobody needs to get hurt during this conversation. I’ll tell you how to get through it without any casualties.

Rule #1 – Be Patient
It may take a few minutes for your partner to realize you are trying to help them. If they aren’t up to speed on snoring and what it can do to both of you then let them know.
Don’t make it an in your face fact session though. Keep things more laid back. You aren’t arguing you are just trying to help them. It may even take several conversations with some people. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your partner will know right away that you only have their best interest at heart.

Rule #2 – Be Understanding
If your partner is concerned about something then listen to them. Maybe they are afraid to try an anti-snoring device. Sympathize with them. Just get them to start making small changes if that’s all they will agree to.
Relationships are not a one-way street so don’t treat yours like one. If you were the one with the snoring problem you would want your partner to be understanding. Give them the same privilege that you would expect to receive.

Rule #3 – Be Sensitive
Always remember that you are trying to help your partner. Often you need to be sensitive to do that. If it seems like you have offended your partner in some way then try to explain things in a lighter and more positive way.
Try to read their reactions and accommodate to them to keep things going smoothly. There is no reason to turn this into a fight or argument. Be sensitive and try to find a tone that fits both your partner and the conversation.

Final Tips for a Productive Conversation
There are just a few things I wanted to mention here that I didn’t really hit with the other tips. First of all, try to bring the subject up as casually as possible. Usually sometime when both of you are relaxing together in the evening is a good time for this.
Get close to your partner, gently touch them while looking into their eyes and just tell them you need to talk. Don’t act nervous or upset or else they might get the wrong impression right off the bat.
Also, tell your partner why you are concerned about their snoring. Don’t try to scare them but let them know what the real risks are. Strokes, constant exhaustion, and headaches are all things I’m sure they would rather live without.
It never hurts to paint a picture of a great night’s sleep for both of you either. Tell them about the positive changes that they can expect once they find a way to stop snoring. The old saying “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” definitely applies here.
The final suggestion I have is to make the conversation about both of you. Some people will not make changes just for themselves. Sometimes all they need is to do it for someone else.
Make sure your partner knows that finding a snoring solution will help both of you, not just them. Let them know that their snoring can affect you too. Things like hearing loss and sleep deprivation are common among those who have a partner that snores.

Separating Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Long-Term Care Insurance

Few people are prepared to handle the financial burden of long-term health care. In fact, many people have a false sense of security when it comes to long-term care. Let’s separate fact from fiction:

“Medicare and my Medicare supplement policy will cover it.”

FACTS:

Medicare and “Medigap” insurance was never intended to pay for ongoing, long-term care. Only about 12% of nursing home costs are paid by Medicare, for short-term skilled nursing home care following hospitalization. (Source: Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance, AHIP, 2013)
Medicare and most health insurance plans, including Medicare supplement policies, do not pay for long-term custodial care. (Source: 2017 Medicare & You, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
“It won’t happen to me.”

FACTS:

Almost 70% of people turning age 65 will need long term care services and supports at some point in their lives. (Source: LongTermCare.gov, November 2016)
About 67% of nursing home residents and 70% of assisted living residents are women. (Source: Long-Term Care Providers and Services Users in the United States, February 2016, National Center for Health Statistics)
“I can afford it.”

FACTS:

As a national average, a year in a nursing home is currently estimated to cost about $92,000. In some areas, it can easily cost well over $110,000! (Source: Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, April 2016)
The average length of a nursing home stay is 835 days. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nursing Home Care FastStats, last updated May 2014)
The national average cost of a one bedroom in an assisted living facility in the U.S. was $43,539 per year in 2016. (Source: Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, April 2016)
Home health care is less expensive, but it still adds up. In 2016, the national average hourly rate for licensed home health aides was $20. Bringing an aide into your home for 20 hours a week can easily cost over $1,600 each month, or almost $20,000 a year. (Source: Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey, April 2016)
“If I can’t afford it, I’ll go on Medicaid.”

FACTS:

Medicaid, or welfare assistance, has many “strings” attached and is only available to people who meet federal poverty guidelines.
Whether purchased for yourself, your spouse or for an aging parent, long-term care insurance can help protect assets accumulated over a lifetime from the ravages of long-term care costs.