Maintaining Health and Avoiding the “Quarantine 15”


Hi gang – Michael Gortenburg here, checking in from Kansas City.

I recently shared my list of favorite tech items to have on hand during this time when many of us are stuck at home. And while they certainly help to keep you occupied at home, it is important to also spend time maintaining your health.

As such, I thought I would share some tips that you can use to stay healthy and fit while the gym and public spaces are closed.

It All Starts with Optimal Nutrition

One of the biggest factors in staying healthy is the nutrition and vitamins that your body takes in on a regular basis. A body with access to high-quality foods and supplements is one that is infinitely more prepared to ward off viruses and ailments. Luckily, these are readily available at any health food or grocery stores (provided they are still in stock).

According to health officials, these are some of the best options available for maintaining the immune system:

Zinc – a common mineral that is used to fight inflammation and improve your cells’ ability to function properly. It is an essential addition to your daily intake, especially if you are older, and has been found to be particularly effective at preventing respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin C – this vitamin is famous for its health properties and has been used to nurse the body back to health from the common cold for decades. It supports cells that are responsible for immune health and is a powerful antioxidant. You can get vitamin C from several foods like broccoli or kale, but I would advocate for supplementing with powder packets that you can also find at the grocery store.

Vitamin D – another common nutrient that is especially helpful in boosting your body’s immune system. Vitamin D supports white blood cells, the cells responsible for fighting pathogens like viruses, and is also an anti-inflammatory agent.

Garlic – this isn’t just a great addition to your favorite dishes; it also has many anti-viral properties to keep your immune system strong during this time.

Don’t Neglect Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is a great way to boost the body’s immune system and will help you avoid gaining the “Quarantine 15.”

Most Americans have a bad habit of neglecting physical exercise throughout the regular year as it is. But now with the quarantine, there is a real danger of gaining extra weight as we move around even less. If you fall into this camp, NOW is the perfect time to pick up a simple routine that you can do from the comfort of your home. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or require expensive, bulky equipment.

For those of you who frequent the gym, you may also find it enjoyable to switch things up with home workouts.

Push-ups – one of the simplest and perhaps most effective ways to stay in shape without going to the gym. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that men who can perform at least 40 pushups in one go have a better chance of avoiding heart disease. This exercise will help work out your chest, arms, shoulders and have many variations that you can use to target different areas.

Jump Rope / Jumping Jacks – almost everyone remembers playing with a jump rope as a kid. Well, it turns out that this activity is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to get your cardio in at home. If you don’t have a jump rope laying around at the house, you can substitute with simple jumping jacks. Aim for doing as many as you can to keep your heart rate up.

Sit-ups – a basic exercise and a perfect way to target your abs while you’re stuck at home. Sit-ups give you a chance to hit those areas that you might have neglected over the years. They also have a multitude of variations that can change the difficulty depending on your goals.

Squats – a powerful exercise for targeting your legs. You can perform these in any area of your house, but for added difficulty, find a wall to lean up against. Make sure to stand about one foot away from the wall and squat down as low as you can and hold this position for as long as you can. I guarantee you will find this a lot more difficult than you would have expected.

***********

There are many more exercises that you can perform while stuck at home during this pandemic, but these are a handful to start with. I would recommend loading up some of your favorite music, finding an isolated spot somewhere in the house and getting started on a daily routine.

Also, be mindful of the types of foods you are ordering online. Restaurants are great, but now would be the perfect time to focus on an overall healthier diet and finding ways to work in some of the above nutrients.

Until next time,

~ Michael Gortenburg, CEO and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Best Tech Devices to Have During a Quarantine

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well as we ride out this coronavirus pandemic. I know that this has been a difficult time for many of you, and large parts of the country are sheltering in place to practice social distancing.

Here in Kansas City, we have been under our mayor’s shelter in place order for weeks, so I thought this would be the perfect time to check in. With all of this time spent inside, it got me thinking about the perfect things to have on hand in the middle of a prolonged quarantine.

As an avid tech connoisseur, I’ve prepared a small list of essential items that might make your time at home a little easier. Check out my list below.

Firestick

With all of this time spent inside, you will definitely need a way to catch up on all of those shows everyone is talking about, including the ever famous “Tiger King.” The firestick plugs directly into your smart TV and grants the user access to thousands of apps and streaming services.

This little device will give you access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and more. With all of these options, you could last months or maybe even years without ever running out of options. And while tempting and somewhat understandable given the circumstances, I would not recommend spending more than a day or two binging on programs. It is important to maintain balance, even during a quarantine.

Ring Camera

Not everybody is staying at home during this quarantine. Criminals know that all of us are ordering products online and many of them are out patrolling neighborhoods looking for packages that sit on front porches/driveways.

Ring cameras help protect you from these predators – now during the quarantine, and throughout the rest of the year. These are tiny cameras that you fit on your front door that show a real-time feed of your front yard and record footage for later watching. Most notably, they can be linked up to your mobile phone, so you can view from anywhere you happen to be. In the event of having any packages stolen, or if you have unexpected visitors that you’d rather not greet at the door, this is a perfect option to have.

They also have a number of smart products like security cameras, smart lights and cameras you can use specifically for businesses.

WIFI Extender

Being forced to stay home doesn’t mean that you should be forced to sit in one room because of a weak WiFi signal. WiFi extenders boost your home’s internet access area so that you can get online from anywhere on your property. This is especially helpful if you have a hard time accessing your network in upstairs locations or from outside.

With a WiFi extender installed, you can move your home office to any part of the house where it might be quieter and easier to get work done. Or, you can lounge outside in your back yard and soak up some sun while still listening to your favorite music.

Kindle

How many times have you put off reading a great book because you just never had the time to sit down and read? Well, with a quarantine underway and with everything closed – all you have is time. That’s why a Kindle is the perfect companion to have with you while we ride this out.

Amazon’s Kindle gives you immediate access to digital versions of virtually any book you could want. Simply purchase them from the Amazon store and it will download onto the device for instant reading.

The Kindle has been perfected over the years to be intuitive and fun to use, so even if you enjoy physical books, this is a great option.

**********

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully, you can use some of these items to make your quarantine a little easier over the next few weeks.

Please, stay home and stay safe.

Even if you don’t think you have anything to worry about, you could potentially spread something to someone who is vulnerable. Let’s all do our part to get through this together and we will return to our normal lives in no time.

Take care

~ Michael Gortenburg, CEO and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Gifts for the Hard-to-Gift People

Hello readers, and greetings from Kansas City!

The other day as I was thinking about some of the coolest tech gadgets that I have seen recently, I naturally thought of people that might enjoy some of the items on the list.

It led me to think of those people in our lives who are hard to buy gifts for. As we get older, it can be difficult to find gifts for people. Gifting turns into a game of trying to surprise the person with a thoughtful gesture, a funny novelty, or a handy item that they will actually use in their day-to-day.

But this can be challenging, especially if we’re pressed for time. I thought that it would be fun to share a quick list of failsafes that work for most people with any lifestyle or background.

Imported Coffee

High-end, imported coffee is a great gift for any person over the age of 25. Almost every adult lives off of coffee, and what better way to start the day than with a premium cup. A premium bag of imported, luxury coffee beans won’t cost you very much and it’s the kind of thing that most people don’t have in their home. This makes a great gift for a boss or co-worker in your office.

Exotic Wine

People often bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party or as a housewarming gift, but it also makes a great birthday, Christmas or casual gift as well. Anyone who enjoys wine will always welcome a new bottle that they haven’t tried – and if they already have a full case, they’ll never turn down another addition. Try to go for an imported wine or an exotic blend that they typically wouldn’t go for. It will give them an excuse to try it and may introduce something new that they’ll enjoy.

Travel Journal

Do you know someone who enjoys traveling and takes a lot of pictures of the places they’ve explored? If so, a travel journal is a unique and thoughtful item that they might actually use. It is a journal of sorts that they can use to document their experiences and include their favorite moments and memories from their trips. They can also include any photographs that they may have as well – but in 2019, they are probably in digital format, which also gives you the opportunity to include a disposable camera – if you can still find them.

Stylish Backpack/Shoulder Bag

Another gift to get any travelers in your life, backpacks and shoulder bags are great items that we can all use but may not necessarily take the time to purchase. A lot of times when people go on trips, they may want to opt for something more mobile than a luggage case but less formal than a briefcase. Backpacks and shoulder bags are the perfect compromise. They allow anyone to store their stuff and take it with them wherever they go. You’ll get extra points if you pick a stylish option.

Board Games

If the person you’re shopping for has a family or likes to host parties with friends – board games are a great option to pick up, and one that they’ll have fun using. You can go for the classics like “Monopoly” or “Life,” but you run the risk of them already owning those, so try to go for games that are new additions or are more unique. The great thing about gifting board games is that it can open an opportunity for you to enjoy time with the person while playing them.

Portable Speakers

For any music lovers in your friend group, you can get them a portable speaker. These have vastly improved over the last several years and can be found for a very affordable price. On top of that, they are extremely handy. People can use portable speakers when they go for a swim at the pool or beach, or grilling out with family, or even working on cars. This is another gift idea people will find themselves using more often than they think and will thank you for later.

Candles

These are a great option for anyone in a pinch. People who don’t own candles always wish they had them and will use them when they’re around. They’re a nice gesture that no one will say no to. They’re also very inexpensive and it can be useful to have when the power goes out.


Hopefully this list will give you some ideas that you can fall back on when it comes time to getting a gift for that person in your life that has it all. They’re timeless options that are practical and have real use in everyday life.

Do you have your own ideas to share? Let me know in the comments!

~ Michael Gortenburg Kansas City, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG)

Make Moving Day Easy

They say that moving into a new home can be one of the most stressful things that a person can deal with. Maybe that’s because there are a lot of things to consider: the commute to work, the kids’ new schools, learning how to get around the general area and more…there’s a lot. In fact, some people might feel a little overwhelmed throughout the whole process.

With such a stressful time, the one thing that shouldn’t be stressful is the actual move itself. As a Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri, I have seen a lot of movers in my time through our work developing and managing multi-family housing.

I’d like to share a couple of quick moving tips to make your next move a lot easier.

Tip #1: Start Early

After you’ve decided to move into a new home – it’s never too early to start planning. The planning phase includes researching your new area, strategizing for commutes, boxing up all of your belongings, scheduling movers, and a million other things that have to be completed over the course of weeks.

One helpful way to handle this often-challenging phase is to break the process down into small chunks and knock out the steps at a slower pace to avoid feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Make a list of steps that must be completed before/after the move (change your addresses, inspect and childproof the new place, etc.)

As far as packing – this is a perfect opportunity to throw out or sell all of those items that have been cluttering up your closets and spare rooms. You would be shocked at how much you can actually get rid of when you take the time for an honest assessment of what you need. It’s quite a freeing feeling to drop items from your past.

Another note on packing is to start with the nonessentials. Put away as many things as you can prior to the moving date, then once the final day rolls around – you will have very little to do. When you are packing for the final move, group boxes by room so that you can easily unpack them in your new place accordingly.

Finally, avoid harder-than-necessary moving experiences by place heavier items into small boxes

Tip #2: Make All Arrangements Ahead of Time

So, it’s move-in day and you’ve finally arrived with your new things, but there’s just one little problem – there’s no power!

After managing housing units for years, I am never surprised by the amount of people who forget to notify or setup utilities for their new place prior to moving in. Ideally, you should make contact with all services to have everything squared away by the time you arrive.

You will obviously need power to move in and will want the A/C circulating to clear out any sitting air. You will also need the water on and running, as you never know what impromptu cleaning may be needed when you start to settle in. And I would be shocked to see a family that doesn’t require the internet/cable for personal or work purposes upon moving in. All of these things can be arranged ahead of your move-in to avoid any last-minute headaches.

Also, make sure you work with any moving teams in advance so that everyone is on the same page for the big day. You don’t want to be sitting around waiting to load up your things. Luckily, most moving companies are very professional and will work to ensure your experience is as smooth as can be.

Tip #3: Settling In

Once you’ve finally gotten everything moved into your new home, it’s time to start the long process of settling in.

First, I always recommend a careful walk-through of the new property just to confirm that there aren’t any lingering issues that need to be dealt with. And make sure to check cabinets and to test out things like faucets, AC units, and power switches. Never just assume that everything works perfectly, because a previous tenant/owner may have neglected maintenance.

If you’re renting, go room to room and make a list of any problems that you encounter. You should have an opportunity to alert the landlord for repair and avoid responsibility for any damages.

Once, you’ve cleared the new place and you’re ready to begin unpacking, start with the essentials first. Things like setting up your bed, stocking away any groceries that you might have, and organizing your bathroom are all great places to begin.

Then it’s really a matter of taking your time and unpacking as you go. You may wish to experiment with furniture placement, or you might want to just dive right in – but this is the part of the process where you can relax and have fun with it.

Moving In and Moving On

Moving to a new place can really be stressful. Don’t make it extra work with added difficulty. It ultimately comes down to planning. The earlier you start, the more time you have to prepare and the easier the process will be.

Hopefully by following these simple tips, you’ll be more prepared to deal with the day when it inevitably comes.

If I left anything out, feel free to drop some tips in the comments below.

Until next time.

~ Michael Gortenburg Kansas City, Missouri