Get stoked: The health benefits of riding the waves

When people go surfing, they do it mainly for recreation or competition. But riding the waves also gives the health a boost in the following ways:

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Weight loss

Health Status’s activity calculator estimates that an 80-kilogram adult can burn 130-260 calories when one goes surfing between a half-hour and an hour. Swimming or paddling against the current and staying atop the board requires much physical effort that helps surfers get fit.

Aerobic exercise

Surfing is an effective aerobic exercise, which is also known as cardio exercise. Aerobic exercises are workouts that pump oxygenated blood from the heart to the muscles, thus strengthening the heart and lungs. This can help decrease the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that maintains the health of the bones and teeth and helps boost the body’s immune system. The best way to get vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, which makes surfing a great recreation to receive a sufficient amount of the vitamin.

Balance and flexibility

Two of the biggest benefits people can get from surfing are balance and flexibility. By increasing the body’s flexibility, injuries can be prevented because the joints and other body parts can execute their full range of motion. Balance can also thwart injuries, such as fractures or breaks, that may occur due to falls.


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Economics major Mack Prioleau is finishing his degree in Vanderbilt University. During his free time, he enjoys surfing and other outdoor recreations. Read more on Mack here.


Sow and reap: What students can gain from volunteering

High school or college students who are looking for meaningful activities to do in their spare time should consider doing community service because it improves the quality of life of the people around them. Student volunteers who give their time, effort, and financial resources also stand to benefit in a myriad of ways, such as the following:


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  • It elevates one’s mood and happiness. United Health Group conducted research on volunteers in 2013 and found out that 76 percent of the respondents said that doing community service had made them feel happier. Also, 94 percent of them stated that volunteering improved their mood or lowered their stress levels.


  • It is beneficial to the physical health. Community service requires activities that can serve as good exercise. Those who volunteer on a regular basis can help students remain physically active and fit.


  • It can solidify one’s career choice or path. Community service can help students explore their interests and passions, which can result to them realizing what career choice would be best for them after they graduate. Furthermore, some employers are impressed by job applicants who had experience in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering.


  • It can develop one’s interpersonal skills. Communication skills are essential for students as they navigate through high school and college, and when they eventually leave school to start on their career path or business.

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Mack Prioleau is a Vanderbilt University student who is an active member of school organizations that assist charitable organizations. For more on Mack’s interests and passions, follow this Twitter account.

The Student-Athlete life: Balancing Academics And Sport

It is no secret that a college education in the U.S. is expensive. That is why those who are fortunate enough to enroll in a university know the importance of working hard to make the most of their college education.


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Take for example student-athletes. This group of students is very much aware of the value and the reward of hard work in college. Contrary to what some people think, the life of a college athlete is not all glamor. Although there are perks to becoming a student-athlete, one must work extra hard to maintain their scholarship and standing in the sport. And doing so usually entails flawless time management skills and unwavering commitment to academics and sport.

For student-athletes who are finding it hard to balance their studies and sport, here are three tips to help you succeed in both of your endeavors:

Stick to a routine : As mentioned earlier, time management is a skill every college athlete should master. Without a schedule to follow, it would be impossible for student-athletes to balance their time between their classes and team practices. That said, they need to embrace a routine that will keep their activities in order. They can start with a to-do list that will teach them to strategize, prioritize, and organize the things they need to accomplish first.



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Keep fit : Student-athletes need to stay in shape not only because they are involved in sports, but they are prone to a lot of stress that can take a toll on their physical and mental health. Apart from the usual training they undergo as athletes, they also have to eat healthily. Another important element of keeping fit? Taking mini-breaks from training and studies for some pampering or leisure time.


Build a support team : At the end of a tough day, a friendly face can make all the difference. Student-athletes need to have a support group – family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers – that will be with through good times and bad. These are the people who only wish the best for the student-athlete.

Mack Prioleau is currently taking up economics at Vanderbilt University. He is also part of the university football team. For more on Mack and his collegiate life, visit this website .

Hiking Through Cape Town

Cape Town, the oldest town in South Africa, is famous for its harbor. But “Mother City” as locals and tourists affectionately call the largest city in the Western Cape Province, has so much more to offer than its famed ports. Travelers who are looking to experience the grandeur of Cape Town via its spectacular landscapes should look below for the best hiking trails  the city has to offer:

Table Mountain : Without a doubt, Table Mountain is a must-hike, whether you are a first-time visitor or a giddy returnee. Even at over 250 million years old, this majestic mound is a breathtaking beauty, meriting a place as one of the world’s “New7Wonders of Nature.”

Hiking the flat-topped mountain will take around 4 to 6 hours. The trail starts at the serene Kirstenbosch Gardens and ends at the Tafelberg Road. Along the way, hikers will see the rich bounty of fauna and flora that Table Mountain is also known for. Reaching Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point of Table Mountain, hikers will be greeted with a panoramic view of Cape Town.

Meanwhile, a cable car service is available to those who still want to reach Table Mountain but are not into hiking or who were exhausted from hours of walking and climbing.

Lion’s Head : With its distinct mountain slope, Lion’s Head is touted by many as the best hikes in the world. It offers a captivating view, overlooking the city and Tampa Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean coastline on the other side.



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The trail entrance and exit is Signal Road. Hiking the Lion’s Head is less grueling compared to Table Mountain, taking only about 2 to 3 hours. The trail is also child-friendly; however, there is some climbing involved, but handholds and chains are available for support. Those who opt not to climb can take a roundabout route but adds another 30 minutes to their hike.


Vanderbilt University student Mack Prioleau’s interests include traveling, hunting, and fishing. He also enjoys hiking, an activity he took an interest in while studying in Cape Town for a semester. For more on Mack and his love for the great outdoors, click  here .

Avoid Such Things, o Wary Traveler

Embarking on a tour of another country seems like a fairly easy task. Or so people think. There are a lot of things tourists need to consider not just at one point, but at different times of their trip. Logically, this causes more problems than one might think. Below are some things that travelers need to be wary of.


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Tourist traps: These business establishments can be found near tourist spots. They charge almost triple the usual price, especially the restaurants. The best places to eat can be found miles from the historical monuments and theme parks.

Bad money changers: The worst of these machines can be found in airports. They have bad rates that can cost travelers huge amounts of money. Travelers should consider changing money at a local bank before leaving the country, or take an ATM (or credit) card with them.


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Taxi cabs: Taxis are very expensive, even more so to tourists. And taxi drivers can smell tourists from miles away. The only acceptable reason to take taxis is either it’s very late at night, or several people are splitting the fare.

Early tickets: If the travel agency isn’t booking a trip at discounted prices, then people should wait. Huge slashes at ticket prices come when travelers least expect it.

Mack Prioleau studies economics with minors in corporate strategy and financial economics at the Vanderbilt University. He loves to travel and write about his adventures. Learn more about Mack by subscribing to this Twitter account.

A proud history of Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has a tradition deeply rooted in American history, which could be traced all the way back to the middle of the 19th century. With the help of Nashville bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire and several church leaders, the Central Univesity of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South was founded in 1872.


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McTyeire had ties with Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was the richest man in the country at the time. Vanderbilt wanted to put up a university on State Island in New York to honor his mother. But instead of that, McTyeire talked him into donating half a million dollars, and later, a million dollars, to Central University. The school was then named after Vanderbilt.

The Main Building, which was the campus’ first, was designed by a Confederate veteran, William Crawford Smith. The building would later be renamed to Kirkland Hall. It was built in 1874-1875. In the autumn of 1875, approximately 200 students came to Vanderbilt University. McTyeire was the Chairman of the Board of Trust for life, and his mentor, Landon Garland was named chancellor.


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It was Garland who actually brought system and structure to the university, as well as many of the institution’s faculty, who were respected scholars in their fields.

Mack Prioleau is an Economics major from Vanderbilt University. One of his passions is volunteering for different charities. Learn more about Prioleau by visiting this LinkedIn page.

Exploring The New Relationship Between Charitable Giving And Economics

There is an economics to charity. This “new face” of charitable giving employs clever financial and pragmatic techniques, such as telemarketing, to achieve sustainable results. This addresses the challenge many charities face, particularly those which are just being set up.

Charity funding has always brought a certain discomfort, and donations are even sometimes frowned upon by modern charities. As such, charities are now engaging in creative ways to ensure a sustainable flow of funds without being beholden to specific individuals or institutions.

Individuals though are asked to follow these guidelines when receiving a for-profit call.

Ask where the money will go: Strangely enough, some telemarketers do not say what their requests are intended for. Professional telemarketers negotiate their fees ahead of time so they know how much goes to them and how much goes to their charities. In many cases, a large percentage of the donations go to the mentioned charities but there are some unscrupulous groups that do not return the money to the charity. This is why government and independent groups caution people to ask for the charity’s name.


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Do the research: It is called the economics of charity for a reason. Despite the goal of helping those in need, there is still a large amount of money being spent on a daily or monthly basis. Charities have to maintain their operations, albeit in a manner different from those of businesses. Charities are financial institutions subject to the same state regulations. Thus, those at the receiving end of any new telemarketing scheme should not readily assent to the middle man and do due diligence, before anything else, on the charity in question.


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One of the most important things to remember is to check the veracity of the call. This can be easily done by hearing the sales pitch and checking online if the charity is listed and government-verified.

Mack Prioleau is an Economics major who volunteers for various charities. To learn more about his other passions, view this LinkedIn page.

Vertical Integration: Managing The Business Value Chain

An organization that decides to create or absorb the businesses involved in the different stages of production undergoes vertical integration. Backward integration happens when the company establishes or acquires a business unit responsible for supplying the raw materials or services needed for its products. Forward integration, on the other hand, is when the business assimilates the end process of distributing the products to the customers.

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Optimization is often the goal in vertical integration. Integrating backwards allows for better control over quality and how production costs impact overall profits. Integrating forward gives management more freedom in creating strategies for distribution that would expand their market and increase revenues.

Management, however, has to weigh the costs of vertical integration. For instance, the costs of supplying can decrease through economies of scale, or meeting a minimum level of production for cost-efficiency. The figures during the planning phase should show that the initial investment for building this capacity would incur lower costs in the long run than continuing to outsource this process. Likewise, in creating a new business venture for supplying or distributing products, the company may be moving away from its core competencies. Organizations that decide to integrate vertically usually already have the familiarity or competencies for venturing into a new industry.

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Mack Prioleau is an Economics student with minors in Corporate Strategy and Financial Economics. For more articles on business and economics, subscribe to this Twitter account.

How The Outdoor Recreation Industry Boosts The Economy

Ten years ago, an economic study on the American outdoor recreation industry was commissioned. And at a time when the great recession shifted consumer spending habits and most sectors reported a decline, the outdoor recreation economy saw a 5-percent growth.

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Over the years, outdoor recreation has been an economic giant that is rather overlooked. Annually, consumers spend from $600 to $700 billion in the industry. Only the financial services and healthcare sectors receive a larger share of consumer spending in the country.

There are two ways that consumers spend on the outdoor recreation industry: paying for services during trips or travels and purchasing gear and equipment used in activities.

This has resulted in more than six million jobs in U.S. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outdoor recreation industry employs the highest number of workers out of all the sectors. With abounding innovation in apparels and equipment for outdoor activities, demand for highly skilled workers continue to see an increase.

Beyond the product-related jobs, the industry also supports the livelihood of those in the hospitality industry, guides and outfitters, and even concessionaires and small business owners. Not only does outdoor recreation contribute directly to economic growth, but it has also created an impact on other industries.

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Mack Prioleau is an economic major at Vanderbilt University, who is also a travel and outdoor enthusiast. He shares his outdoor adventures and the diverse cultures he encounters through different online channels. Visit this website to read about his travel experiences.

How Culture Affects Corporate Strategy

Corporate strategy is crafted through a thorough understanding of human relationships. Many businesses forget to consider that financial success is often dependent on corporate culture. Setting up and managing a good workplace culture has a direct relationship with yearly company profits.

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The housing metaphor best explains the importance of workplace culture. The most crucial aspect to building a house is the foundation. Regardless of the materials or the architectural designs employed in its construction, a house will not stand on weak groundwork.

This is why contractors spend a lot of time ensuring that everything is well-managed and toiled before actual building takes place. In the same light, a company’s goal is to earn money. To achieve this, companies have to earn more than they spend. They do this by generating enough income while employing only who are needed and keeping expenses down. Employees leaving represents an unnecessary expense, and also a huge gash in a company’s foundation. The higher the attrition rate, the less stable a company becomes.

Recent research suggest that corporate culture plays a big role in employee productivity. Businesses that achieve good workplace culture are less likely to have employees leaving or handing in substandard work. This means that companies should take special interest in what their employees feel about their jobs.

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It must be noted that culture is defined differently for every company; management should determine what promotes productivity and motivation in their industry.

Mack Prioleau is an economics major with an interest in corporate strategy and business structure. Follow this Twitter account.