The Ardell REAL Wellness® Self-Assessment For Athleticism (Exercise And Nutrition)

INTRODUCTIONThis edition essay consists of a self-assessment designed to reflect your knowledge, satisfaction level and general experience of Athleticism, one of four REAL wellness dimensions.The self-assessment protocols are copyrighted; all rights are reserved. Visit for licensing information regarding educational, corporate, non-profit or other uses of one or more of the four REAL wellness self-assessments, as well as a separate self-assessment for stress management.The purpose of all the self-assessments is to promote familiarity with and added commitment to REAL wellness mindsets and lifestyles. The overall goal is a philosophy guided by reason, inspired by exuberance, supported with athleticism and enriched by increased personal liberties.ATHLETICISMThe Athleticism dimension of REAL wellness is about exercise and nutrition. These two domains have been treated as separate professions until recently. Degrees and certifications, professional societies, conferences and scholarly journals were and largely remain devoted to exercise and to nutrition, but not both as a single, integral element of the same topic (i.e., Athleticism). As far back as the mid-seventies, I insisted the two were intertwined and logically inseparable and should be addressed together, understood as one discipline of two integrated parts. Playfully, I insisted exercise and nutrition were inextricably intertwinked. I made this case in High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs and Disease, initially published by Rodale Press in 1977 and later by Bantam Books and Ten Speed Press.For best results from exercise as well as from wise food choices, these two elements deserve equal attention. One contributes to the other; best results from exercise result from attention to complementary food patterns and vice-versa.Four centuries ago, Joseph Addison (1672-1719) identified three grand essentials to happiness: 1) something to do, 2) someone to love and 3) something to hope for. There are probably many more essentials for some people, but there is absolutely one more for everyone–good health. You can manage a bit of happiness when in pain and otherwise severely distracted from things to do, someone to love and something to hope for, but after a while dreadful health will get in the way. Chronic ill health, distractions from doing what you desire, love and hope, is almost guaranteed without adequate exercise and sound diet.Sufficient exercise and wise diet choices on a daily basis require mental toughness, a disciplined and unwavering commitment to regular body care involving both movement and nourishment. Only about ten percent of older adults (65 plus) in the Western world exercise at even minimal levels. While Americans spend a great deal more on fitness products and services than any other nation ($265 billion annually in 2018, according to the Global Wellness Institute), we rank 143rd globally for actual participation in physical activity.Those who exercise regularly and sufficiently enjoy less stress, fewer illnesses and better reflexes, memories, balance and metabolic profiles. How much better? So much so that on these health measures, fit elders test at levels decades better than their sedentary peers. (Source: Ross D. Pollock et. al., An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Age and Physiological Function in Highly Active Older Adults, The Journal of Physiology, January 2015.)To become and remain physically fit and to sustain yourself with foods that support good physical and mental health, knowledge and disciplined choices are required on a daily basis. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) identifies poor nutrition and lack of physical activity as two of the four main risk factors causing preventable chronic diseases; the other two are tobacco use and excessive alcohol.Vigorous daily exercise and nutritious, delicious and only occasional pernicious treats (e.g., pies, cakes, donuts) are foundation requirements for wellbeing. The mental and physical acuity gained from mastery of the Athleticism dimension will enable and support rational decision-making, exuberance and freedom from avoidable dysfunctions that otherwise inhibit thriving and flourishing.SCORINGThe Athleticism self-assessment contains ten statements. Each statement is prefaced by a background commentary that provides a context for a fuller understanding of the statement to follow.Please choose a number from one to five that reflects the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement. If you strongly believe that your thinking or situation aligns with the statement, place the number 5 as your answer choice in the space provided. If you strongly disagree, enter the number 1. These are the two extreme positions.The middle number 3 represents a neutral position, indicating that you are not sure which side of the continuum your situation merits. The numbers 2 and 4 express modest alignment with one side or the other along the continuum.An interpretative commentary is provided based upon your cumulative score. In addition, a selection of ten Athleticism-focused books are included; five relate to exercise and five to nutrition.A NOTE FOR BEST RESULTSThis instrument is not intended as a competition, but rather for personal self-assessment. Be scrupulously frank with your self-assessments.The value of the assessment will be in the degree to which your score accurately represents your thinking and activity level in this dimension of REAL wellness. The cumulative score for the ten statements will determine the feedback. This should be helpful for making positive adjustments, if needed and desired.Enjoy the process.TEN STATEMENTSI. BackgroundIn 1912, the architect William Mitchell Kendall designed the General Post Office Building in Manhattan. Upon completion, Kendall had words inspired by the Greek scholar Herodotus (500 BC) inscribed on the grand entrance:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Though never officially adopted by the U.S. Postal Service, this motto has been associated with U.S. mail couriers ever since, which might explain why some people get cranky when the mail carrier does not arrive as expected.Statement # 1My commitment to vigorous exercise is such that I almost never miss a daily workout, come tornado, flood, earthquake, tsunami or pandemic. Well, maybe in the event of a tornado, flood, earthquake or tsunami,but certainly not in case of a mere pandemic, or snow, rain, heat or gloom of night. _____II. BackgroundThe American people suffer from extraordinary levels of overweight and obesity, both considered preventable diseases. At least 52 percent of adults are in one of these two hazardous weight categories. Absent a strong conscious commitment to a lifestyle that includes dietary restraint and exercise sufficient in terms of duration, intensity and frequency, excess weight is inevitable.Statement # 2I exercise sufficiently in terms of duration, intensity and frequency and otherwise act so as to maintain the recommended standard of a BMI of 24 or less. _____III. BackgroundThere are unlimited excuses for not doing enough exercise, time pressures being at the top of most lists. Many people work multiple jobs and struggle to meet their basic needs. Exercise can seem like a luxury, an optional part of life. Even good reasons, however, do not affect the onset of adverse consequences of doing too little or no exercise at all.Statement # 3It’s not always easy, convenient or fun, but I do manage to meet or exceed the global standard of 150 minutes per week of moderate to intense physical activity. _____IV. BackgroundIn time, we all lose a bit of speed, our endurance diminishes and recovery from exertion takes longer. In addition, injuries seem more frequent and the healing process is slower than in earlier life. Core muscles, the movers and stabilizers that support the spine and transfer force through the body, need extra attention in middle and later years. Specific exercises can be done to improve core strength and prevent or reduce the incidence of back, hip, knee and neck pain.Statement # 4I incorporate core exercise in my exercise routines. _____V. BackgroundStretching, balance and strength training are critical elements of physical fitness. Strength training is vital but rarely practiced sufficiently, as it is hard work and not as enjoyable as common endurance activities. What’s more, it requires a gym membership for most people.Bodyweight machines, and especially free weights, reinvigorate your neurotransmitters and aid in coordination and balance, back alignment and preventing muscle deterioration over time. Alas, endurance exercise does not provide these benefits, so endurance training should be supplemented with strength training. Strength training adds to the staying power of muscles and builds the power needed to coordinate movements with grace, balance and efficiency.Statement # 5I nearly always manage to get in at least two 30 minute or more workouts per week on bodyweight machines and/or free weights–and I know enough about such strength training to maximize benefits from such exertions without inviting related injuries, such as muscle strains or worse. _____VI. BackgroundA sound diet, weighted in whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables and nuts will help you look your best and stay well. Most people follow a diet pattern more or less consistent with whatever was served on tables set by their parents and caregivers in their initial decades.Statement # 6I have learned from varied reliable sources and from trial and error over time to continually fine-tune my nutritional choices. My food selection and consumption patterns complement and contribute to my enjoyment of foods and positive health status. _____VII. BackgroundMost adults have tried a variety of diet patterns, often based upon anecdotal accounts of a miracle weight-loss plan, foods that boost human performance or wild claims of panacea-like benefits from following a best-seller diet book.There is no shortage of both genuine and bogus experts with meal plans, cookbooks, seminars and persuasive claims that scientific studies support their diet. It’s between hard to impossible to be certain that any given approach represents the one true, best food plan. Well-meaning friends and money-grubbing mountebanks galore are willing and anxious to offer their food plans that will cure whatever ails you, but all have at least one conflict of interest. That is, their interests (profit) and yours (good health) may not align.Statement # 7For information about nutrition, I explore a wide range of sources, including diet books, weight loss plans and maybe occasionally even celebrity doctors, but largely for entertainment, not facts. For the most up-to-date findings and nutritional recommendations, I primarily rely upon independent studies, government reports and reputable experts. _____VIII. BackgroundJunk food in America is cheap, omnipresent, overabundant and effectively promoted in massive marketing campaigns, most targeted to children. Tempting ads urge us to select and consume high fat sweets, which are ubiquitous and arrive under the radar of conscious choices, leading to passive over-consumption. Snacking almost anywhere is socially acceptable; vending machines and other sources of treats are omnipresent in school cafeterias, gas stations, worksites, shopping venues and so on. Other than at regular meal times, snack foods are ingested on four or five occasions daily. In the last decade, snacks and beverages accounted for twice the calories traced to increases in portion size of regular meals. (Source: Michael Greger, M.D., The Role of Personal Responsibility in the Obesity Epidemic, April 29th, 2020.)Statement # 8I’m well aware of the ubiquity of snack foods and their harmful effects if consumed other than occasionally. For that reason and possibly others, low nutrient junk foods are hardly ever among my food choices. _____IX. BackgroundMany people abstain completely or in good part from animal products. Reasons for doing so include the following:

They consider factory farming cruel and inhumane.

They know animal agriculture is environmentally destructive.

Health reasons–vegan/vegetarian diets are low in fat, calories and cholesterol and high in fiber and vitamins.

Ethical factors–while we are acclimated to animal slaughter, most people realize, when they reluctantly think of it, that factory-farmed, egg-laying chickens and dairy cows lead unnecessarily miserable and brief lives.

Animal agriculture consumes vast amounts of land and water to support livestock and grow feed which entails deforestation, soil degradation, a decline in biodiversity and irrigation usage amounting to eight percent of global human water use (Source: LEAD–Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.)
Statement # 9I’m aware of the above described facts and, to the extent that I can do so given my current circumstances, I restrict or eliminate animal protein in my daily diet. _____X. BackgroundThe majority of vegans get their required nutrients despite not consuming animal products, though many take vitamins B12 and D in supplement form. In addition, some experts recommend occasional blood testing to discover if supplemental iron, zinc, iodine, calcium or long-chain omega-3s are indicated. The mainstay vegan diets consist of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes–all of which are naturally low in fat and cholesterol but rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and vitamins C and E.The American Dietetic Association reports that vegetarians and vegans have lower body mass indexes, blood pressure and cholesterol levels than nonvegetarians. The ADA also reports that vegans have lower rates of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension and heart disease (Source: ADA.)(On a personal note, I might add that my own observations suggest that vegans have higher morale, superior bowel movements, whiter teeth, enviable sex lives and more antibodies to ward off pandemics. However, these claims are anecdotal, unsupported by double- blind randomized longitudinal research. I mention this here only to suggest, subliminally, that I’m a good person, more or less.)Statement # 10I’m either a vegetarian or vegan now or, there’s a good possibility I might become one, most of the time, someday. _____INTERPRETATION OF SCOREPlease add the total count for each of your responses to the ten statements. The range will be from ten to 50.The following commentary is impressionistic, subjective and approximate; it is not based upon robust randomized clinical trials, nor does the author proclaim nor imply magisterium via ex cathedra sources of inspiration or certainty. Rather, the interpretation will only approximate the extent of your familiarity with the nature of Athleticism and mastery of this REAL wellness dimension.And now, the interpretation of your Athleticism score.10 to 20At present, REAL wellness attitudes, behaviors, skills and priorities associated with Athleticism have not been well developed. However, the simple fact of exposure to the elements of Athleticism in this self-assessment might prove to be a fortuitous encounter that opens new possibilities for you.Your score is as low as it could be in both the exercise and nutrition categories. The good news is you can only move forward in positive directions; even moderate initiatives to exert more and dine better will result in meaningful gains. Here are a few simple suggestions:

Join a group — doing something new is easier and more enjoyable if it entails connections with others.

Make a plan–and write it out. Identify a goal, a timetable and someone or several who will work with you, offering mutual support and encouragement. Be specific and note obstacles you’ll have to overcome and payoffs you expect along the way to reaching the goal.

Choose a book to read, a program to follow and/or an app to use for the goal (s) you set.

Attend events that might add excitement and give you ideas about activities you might enjoy, such as a charity walk or run, or just watching people like yourself play games in local leagues. You may decide, I can do that, and add another outlet to your plan.

Watch Brian Wendel’s 2006 classic video Forks Over Knives to appreciate the case for eating less meat products.

Add extra steps and movements of varied kinds into everyday routines. Find a few steps to climb, stretch during TV commercials, get a dog that will insist you walk with it throughout the day and make a log of your daily movements. There are plenty of apps that will make doing this easy–and provide motivating in the process.

Keep plenty of fruits around the house, add them to meals and snack on them throughout the day.

Start each day with a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt.
You may have been discouraged about exercise by certain basic issues, such as what others might think, who to trust for sound advice, how to get started and/or similar hesitations about the choices for exercise and better diet patterns. There is no one, guaranteed way to optimal exercise or a one-true diet for all, given the extraordinary variety in a country with 330 million people. However, as suggested in the above listing, there are things you can do to make changes easier and boost chances you’ll stay with good intentions.21 to 30 You are quite aware of the importance of exercise and sound nutrition. You’re somewhere in the middle range of folks who ignore these two parts of Athleticism and those who go all out, that is, the superstars of fitness and healthy food practices. You might consider jump-starting new initiatives to boost your Athleticism by joining a gym, if not already a member of one.Gyms come in many forms and cater to different athletic interests, with price structures from bare bones to haute couture. Visit several close to your home or place of work before choosing one–there are dramatic differences.If you are old enough for Medicare (65), your insurer’s Advantage Plan probably offers free gym memberships, a splendid benefit not to be ignored if you want to make the most of your insurance plan–and who does not? A gym workout can and should include not just endurance exercise on varied cardio and strength machines, but also opportunities for assistance in improving balance, flexibility and core muscles. Besides personal training for a fee, gyms also offer free classes, which can be valuable additions to the work you do on your own.31 to 40 Well done — you are on the right track.Your score indicates that you have a solid knowledge base about exercise and nutrition and that you’re reasonably satisfied with your practices of both elements of Athleticism. By attending to just a few areas, you will advance into the highest lifestyle skill category in this REAL wellness dimension.Review your responses to each of the following questions on a summary check list. To pinpoint the few issues needing attention based upon your self-score, scan the following list and ask yourself: Would I benefit from:Greater focus on meal planning?Yes ___No ___Weight loss (or gain)?Yes ___No ___Blood work to see if I need a supplement?Yes ___No ___Strength training?Yes ___No ___More intense, interval style training?Yes ___No ___Longer or more frequent exercise?Yes ___No ___Fewer excuses?Yes ___No ___Attention to core muscles?Yes ___No ___Additional stretching/balance work?Yes ___No ___Work with free weights?Yes ___No ___Joining a gym–and visiting it regularly?Yes ___No ___Eating less meat and less snack foods?Yes ___No ___Taking health-oriented cooking classes?Yes ___No ___Consuming less alcohol or sugary drinks?Yes ___No ___Getting involved in environmental issues?Yes ___No ___As you move forward to the next and highest level of Athleticism, I wish you continued fulfillment and happiness. Congratulations.41 to 50Bravo. Whoop whoop. Well done. You are a maestro of movement and a judicious consumer who dines for wellbeing as well as taste. You successfully balance two separate but interconnected disciplines that enable best results in the Athleticism skill set of REAL wellness. You deserve kudos for living and modeling a passion for fitness supported by nutritious dining preferences.Your score suggests you’ve maintained a commitment to lifelong learning, critical factors in your exercise and dining habits. This hospitality and openness to trusted sources of information expands your capacity for new opportunities. You have positioned yourself to manage, if not foresee, the unexpected.Life is, without doubt, maddingly unfair. Those like yourself who rank at the high end of Athleticism remain vulnerable. Athleticism only takes you so far–the wellest of the well also experience life’s hard turns. Initiatives and commitments to wise habits are but stop gaps, not solutions. Let’s always be mindful of and grateful to those who contribute to our tenuous good fortune. Let’s do what little we can to lift others, those for whom habitual routines of healthy choices that we enjoy seem out of reach, unaffordable luxuries.The good doctor Anthony Fauci, keeper of reality checks at the White House during the COVID-19 pandemic, offered this advice to graduates of the Ohio State University in a commencement address in 2016:
Allow yourselves to cultivate the joyousness of life as much as you do your professional accomplishments. You have so many other things to live for and to be happy about.Reach for them and keep the sounds of your laughter alive.
You are fortunate to appreciate that Athleticism, vital as it is to a good life, is but one aspect of many that you have to live for and be happy about. All the rest that you do deserves to be approached in the same spirit–and made as much fun as you can introduce. Hopefully, you can even manage plateaus of laughter and joy on occasions, perhaps nearly every day. So, as Robert Green Ingersoll signed off in a letter dated February 23, 1893 to his dear friend B. N. Goodsell, Good luck and long life, and music enough to last you through.RECOMMENDED READINGSBaechle, Thomas R. and Westcott, Wayne L. Fitness Professional’s Guide to Strength Training. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2010.Benardot, Dan. Advanced Sports Nutrition, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2006Buettner, Dan. The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. National Geographic, Washington, D.C. 2015.Broussal-Derval, Aurelien and Ganneau, Stephane. The Modern Art and Science of Mobility. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2019.Campbell, T. Colin and Campbell, Thomas. The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health. Ben Bella Books, Dallas, TX. 2004.Cardwell, Glenn. Gold Medal Nutrition (5th Edition) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 1996.Case, Chris and Mandrola, John and Zinn, Lennard. The Haywire Heart: How Too Much Exercise Can Kill You, and What You Can Do to Protect Your Heart. Velo Press, Boulder, CO, 2017.Clark, Nancy, Sports Nutrition Guidebook (6th Edition). Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 2013Crowley, Chris and Lodge, Henry S. Younger Next Year. Workman Publishing, New York. 2007.Esselstyn, Caldwell B. Prevent And Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. Penguin, New York. 2007.Esselstyn, Rip. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan That Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds. Grand Central Life & Style, New York. 2009.Greger, Michael. How Not to Die. Flatiron Books, New York, 2015.Jonas, Steve. Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals. W. W. Norton & Co., New York. 2006.Weil, Andrew. Eight Weeks to Optimum Health (Revised Edition). Knopf, Borzoi Books, New York. 2006.

An Introduction to Lifestyle Living in South Africa

The idea of lifestyle living has redefined the South African property market in recent years. A concept that has numerous applications, it appeals to those who want the very best of life. This is because it arouses an emotional desire for true quality and a yearning to live a life of choice.While not unlike lifestyle living in other countries, the concept has a special appeal within the African context, with South Africa offering a combination of raw scenic beauty, African adventure, an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, and world-class facilities and living standards. Gone are the images of lions roaming the streets of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Instead the famous Big Five live in well managed game parks while the streets of South Africa’s top cities offer shops and restaurants that promise First World luxuries and treats at affordable prices – especially for those who visit from foreign lands.So it is not surprising that lifestyle living is a concept that appeals to both foreigners and locals alike.Nestled between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world, covering an area of 1,221,040 square kilometres or 471,446 square miles. It has a population of more than 47-million people from a wide variety of cultures and religious beliefs. There are nine official languages and nine provinces, making the country truly a rainbow nation.Anyone looking for property opportunities within this southern-most country in Africa will find that property agents enthusiastically espouse the concept of lifestyle living. On the other hand, magazines published locally use the term loosely to describe just about anything that relates to quality gracious living: food and wine, health and beauty, and occasionally, property.The beauty of the lifestyle living theory is that it can be adapted to meet almost every discernible desire. That is undoubtedly why the term is often used to promote property values and desirability. As such, lifestyle living has defined its own place in a very competitive industry. And to many, it is absolutely irresistible.It is accepted that any type of lifestyle estate in this country will provide an exclusive home environment where you are secure and have easy access to the amenities you value. Thousands of gated communities in towns and cities across South Africa meet this basic definition. However quality lifestyle-living means a whole lot more than living in an upmarket housing estate densely packed with identical-looking mansions and triple garages.Quality rural lifestyle living is the connoisseur’s prize; far removed from city stress. Savvy developers of successful country lifestyle estates link the needs of buyers to lifestyle desires such as game farms, private nature reserves, golf, wine, horses and “gentleman” farming, whether on a full-time basis or “get-away” retreat within a few short hours drive from the city.Many international buyers want all the benefits of a “Farm in Africa” without the management worry or financial liability. For every buyer there is an environment that satisfies and soothes both the soul and the budget.Once you understand your options, you can look for the place of your dreams, just like I did.

Finance – More Than Number Crunchers

If you were to dissect the culture of a business, and you ask various people in an organization what the real roles of each department are, you’ll find the well-known dichotomy between “front office” and “back office” operations.Front office staff are the people who deal with customers. They might be the customer service department, the sales department, and sometimes the marketing department (depending on how involved the marketing department is in the sales cycle). Back office staff are usually the admin assistants, HR, and the killjoy of all businesses – the Finance department.In businesses I’ve observed, Finance departments often face silent derision or disrespect. Part of it is an us-versus-them mentality that comes out of the front office staff who feel their jobs are more difficult because they deal with customers (compared to Finance, who deal with numbers). And no one from the front office sends memos to the back office saying “please spend less time crunching the numbers” but it can feel like the back office is constantly memo-ing the front office with “watch this expenditure” or “spend less on client lunches”.Unfortunately, this view is supported by management at all levels that give Finance the nasty job of accounts receivable, the inputting-heavy job of accounts payable, and the dull job of budget forecasting. Compared to the highly creative marketing department and the edge-of-the-seat, in-the-trenches feeling of the sales department, finance is like the broccoli side dish on a plate of steak and fries.But it doesn’t have to be this way! Finance departments shouldn’t be relegated to the back office in the hopes that their sharp pencils won’t poke a customer in the eye! Finance departments can and should play a far more important role in the organization. Here are some ideas:

POSSIBILITY 1: Finance should be more about business strategy than number prophecy. When the Finance department hounds the sales managers to get in their budgets and then turns them around for a final target budget for the year, their role is reduced to mere numerical interpreter. But what if Finance sat down with sales and talked to them about how their numbers connected to expected outcomes? And then, what if Finance sat down with the executives of the company and actually worked out a forecast that was tied to what the market was anticipating! Imagine a world where Finance’s numbers were more than just a spreadsheet that gets pulled out at every quarterly review.

POSSIBILITY 2: Finance should be more about opportunity. Many sales managers have some limited view into which customers are sending business. But the view isn’t always perfect. Or complete. Finance should get involved to show how a customer is really impacting the business’ bottom line. If Finance and Sales talked to each other, Sales might be shocked to discover that their biggest client is actually less valuable than expected because of the amount of work involved in keeping them as clients, or they might discover that a seemingly profitable client isn’t profitable at all because their receivables get very, very old. Imagine a world where the Finance department can relate true business impacting information to Sales to tell them which opportunities are truly the most profitable.

POSSIBILITY 3: Finance should be selling, too. When Finance gets the job of following up on accounts receivables, they can potentially do more harm than good. Finance people are highly skilled at numbers, and they might be good “people-oriented” staff, but they are rarely trained in the art of sales. However, when a Finance person, tasked with accounts receivables, gets adequate training in receivables AND customer service AND sales, their success rate at getting the receivables paid can increase, but so will their success rate at winning more business.
There are so many more opportunities, too. Businesses should be using their accounts payable list as a prospecting list. They should be temporarily swapping roles between Finance and Sales for brief “see-how-the-other-side-does-it” days to enable new appreciation and new connections. Finance should sit in on sales calls to see why Sales sometimes feels like they need to bend the rules to close the deal (and Sales should shadow the work of Finance so they know what work needs to happen at the back-end if they don’t assess risk adequately during the sale).The bottom line for businesses should not be derived from a cloistered Finance department. Instead, a business can uncover new and exciting opportunities when it makes its Finance department an integral part of the entire business.

Contemporary Entertainment Centers

Contemporary entertainment centers or home theatre systems are available today in various colors and designs. A contemporary home theater includes DVD players, CD changers and wide screen TVs.With the surge in popularity of plasma and LCD projection TVs, entertainment centers are designed specifically to house them. There are many entertainment centers available that offer a lot of variety in designs and style. They are sleek and offer lots of storage options for CDs, books and other items.A wide range of contemporary designs is also available for smaller or regular TV’s and other entertainment devices. They can range from small units made by combining a stylish TV tabletop with a combination of drawers to larger column like structures with closed, as well as open, shelf space.For smaller floor spaces, there are many innovative designs of contemporary entertainment centers that take full advantage of the available space. When larger floor spaces are available, then wider and roomier designs are available.The price for a contemporary entertainment center can range anywhere from $800 to $8000. They can be purchased from local showrooms and also from the websites of leading dealers and manufacturers. It is essential to take advice from professional designers when choosing a contemporary entertainment center, as they can help customize it to individual tastes. Some websites offer the option of planning the entire layout of an entertainment unit online.The biggest advantage of a contemporary entertainment center is that it combines a sophisticated design with modern style. They are also designed to be flexible and versatile, and generally have more open shelf spaces as compared to the traditional styles. As genuine contemporary entertainment centers come with a hefty price tag, it is advisable to buy them either at wholesale prices, or when dealers offer special discounts as a promotional strategy.