Analysis of an Outstanding English Essay "Work" by John Ruskin

John Ruskin (1819 -1900) was an English art critic and social thinker, also remembered as a poet and artist. He wrote a number of essays on art and architecture that became extremely influential in the Victorian era. He takes material for his lecture “Work” from the existing economic revolution which is generally referred to as “Industrial Revolution”. Apart from its advantages and benefits it brought a great destruction for the poor people. The writer reveals the general facts and harsh realities which were ignored even by those who themselves were the main victim of revolution.

What is Working Class?

Ruskin, in the very beginning, is going to clarify the matter that what it is meant by “working class”. Most probably it is the opposite of “idle class”. Then “idle class” will be the synonym of “upper class”. At this point, Ruskin asks question to his audience whether he is correct in drawing this distinction or not. The question is asked only with the intention to gain the sympathy of his audience so that to convince them about his own arguments.

Then, he rejects the above mentioned distinction because the idle people may be found in both rich and poor classes. There is a working class among both rich and poor and there is also an idle class among both rich and poor. So the distinction between working class and upper class has been proved to be wrong. As the topic of his lecture is work, the writer sticks to the working class. He draws organized distinction between the two classes in various respects. The following are the major distinctions vividly drawn by the author.

First Distinction

This distinction is between two classes; those who work and those who play. It can be understood easily after knowing the difference between work and play. “Play” has been derided for the purpose of pleasure with no determined end while work is something totally different which is intended to earn benefit and is done with some determined end. The writer critically analyzes some popular work of England that are worthy to be called “games”.

“The first English game is making money”

This is an ironical statement for those who earn money blindly. Such people don’t know why they are earning money and what they will do with it? They are in fact players, playing the game of minting money. The aristocratic ladies of his time were also indulging in the most expensive game of “dressing”. Ruskin satirically encodes their behaviour saying these are the “poor women” with no proper clothing. Had the garment-budget of these ladies distributed among the poor people of third world, it would have sufficed them to fulfill their basic needs. However, the distinction between work and play is not exclusively mutual; a single thing can be equally “work” and “play” according to its primary and secondary purposes.

Second Distinction

The writer draws another distinction between the rich and poor. The first spends a large amount of money even on cheap and ordinary things while the latter has to endeavor his basic needs.

Ruskin quotes two instances from a newspaper. The first says that in Russia a man of good fortune entered into a hotel to take his breakfast. He paid there fifteen francs only for two peaches. The second story states the miserable state of a dead person whose body was lying on a dung heap with no person paying any heed towards him only because he belongs to the poor class. Some dried pieces of “bones” were taken out of his pocket thus intensifying the misery of the poor person.

Lawful Bases of Wealth

The lawful basis of wealth is that a worker should be paid a fair amount of his work and he should also be given liberty regarding his money; whether spends or saves for some rainy day. After implementing this law in a true sense there would be no “poor person” except for those lazy people who stay at home lazily instead of doing some work. Such kind of poor are doubly poor; lacking not only worldly possessions but also the moral strength. Those who follow this law are real rich irrespective of money they have in their possessions.

False Base of Minting Money

Duty is the main thing that should be given priority. Those who cares more about their salary or fee than the work they have been assigned, though, can become rich but on the false basis. Ruskin critically refers to such kind of people terming them “uneducated class”, “inferior in intellect” and “coward”. At this point Ruskin has proved his philosophy by giving an analogy. He says the primary purpose of a soldier’s life must be to win battles. Similarly teaching goodness should be the sole purpose of a clergyman’s life. Both of these persons are paid well for their duties but that is at secondary level. If this becomes their primary objective then they would be “coward” and “stupid”.

Third distinction

Some people work with their hands while some other with their brains. There is rough work to be done, and rough men must do it. There is also gentle work to be done and gentle men must do it. Both works are important in that the maintenance of life depends on manual as well as mental work. Every person should do honestly his own job, mental or physical.

Nevertheless it is a true fact that the dignity of labour and hard work is recognized only by his own class. A man working in a quiet and serene room with everything comfortable is unlikely to be aware of the hardships of train-drivers who have to drive against cruel winds with no difference of day and night in their life.

The rough work is generally honest, real and useful whereas the gentle work often accompanies dishonesty and cheating. When both the works are worthily done the head’s is noble work and the hand’s is ignorable. Again Ruskin criticizes the rich class who persistently thinks of providing relief and comfort to the working class but do nothing practically.

The essay tells us that both kinds of work should be done properly but he problem surfaces when people don’t work willingly. The main reason of this attitude is they don’t know which work they can do better. This “will” can be promoted only when they select the appropriate profession in accordance with their ability. Ruskin says, “in order that a man may be happy, it is necessary that he should not only be capable of his work, but a good judge of his work”.

The Roles and Responsibilities of the Members of a Family

The family is a basic unit of the society which consists of the husband, wife and their children. Each of these members has their assigned roles and responsibilities. Within a family, everyone assumes these roles. Talking about these roles and responsibilities, it is important to note the following key points:

• One of the most important responsibilities of a family is raising a child. It is the most challenging responsibility because the child has to be raised from childhood till he/she is old enough to take care of him/herself.

• The family is also expected to educate and transmit the societal norms and culture to its offspring and also give them a position or status in life.

• The family provides emotional, psychological moral and material support to members.

• The family has to ensure provision of.physical security in terms of food, clothing, shelter and other needs to its offspring or other dependent individual members of the family e.g grandparents. However, tradition still believes in assigning specific roles to each family member.

Examples of roles and responsibilities of each family member include:


• Provision of food, shelter and money for the family

• Making important decisions.


• Preparing food and keeping the house in order

• Nurturing and raising the children, teaching the children morals and values

It is important to note that the above roles and any other traditional roles assigned to either parent could be performed by any of the parents. Indeed, both parents are to compliment each other in the performance of all these functions.


• Obeying their parents

• Assisting in performing household chores, particularly in the kitchen, garden, laundry, washing the car etc

• Living up to family expectations

• Getting good grades in school

Each of these roles is accorded a status. The status assigned to a particular role within the family reflects the values and beliefs of that family. The higher the status assigned to a role, the greater the authority, privileges and reward accorded to that role.

Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior refers to the selection, purchase and consumption of goods and services for the satisfaction of their wants. There are different processes involved in the consumer behavior. Initially the consumer tries to find what commodities he would like to consume, then he selects only those commodities that promise greater utility. After selecting the commodities, the consumer makes an estimate of the available money which he can spend. Lastly, the consumer analyzes the prevailing prices of commodities and takes the decision about the commodities he should consume. Meanwhile, there are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is given below.

1. Cultural Factors

Consumer behavior is deeply influenced by cultural factors such as: buyer culture, subculture, and social class.

• Culture

Basically, culture is the part of every society and is the important cause of person wants and behavior. The influence of culture on buying behavior varies from country to country therefore marketers have to be very careful in analyzing the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.

• Subculture

Each culture contains different subcultures such as religions, nationalities, geographic regions, racial groups etc. Marketers can use these groups by segmenting the market into various small portions. For example marketers can design products according to the needs of a particular geographic group.

• Social Class

Every society possesses some form of social class which is important to the marketers because the buying behavior of people in a given social class is similar. In this way marketing activities could be tailored according to different social classes. Here we should note that social class is not only determined by income but there are various other factors as well such as: wealth, education, occupation etc.

2. Social Factors

Social factors also impact the buying behavior of consumers. The important social factors are: reference groups, family, role and status.

• Reference Groups

Reference groups have potential in forming a person attitude or behavior. The impact of reference groups varies across products and brands. For example if the product is visible such as dress, shoes, car etc then the influence of reference groups will be high. Reference groups also include opinion leader (a person who influences other because of his special skill, knowledge or other characteristics).

• Family

Buyer behavior is strongly influenced by the member of a family. Therefore marketers are trying to find the roles and influence of the husband, wife and children. If the buying decision of a particular product is influenced by wife then the marketers will try to target the women in their advertisement. Here we should note that buying roles change with change in consumer lifestyles.

• Roles and Status

Each person possesses different roles and status in the society depending upon the groups, clubs, family, organization etc. to which he belongs. For example a woman is working in an organization as finance manager. Now she is playing two roles, one of finance manager and other of mother. Therefore her buying decisions will be influenced by her role and status.

3. Personal Factors

Personal factors can also affect the consumer behavior. Some of the important personal factors that influence the buying behavior are: lifestyle, economic situation, occupation, age, personality and self concept.

• Age

Age and life-cycle have potential impact on the consumer buying behavior. It is obvious that the consumers change the purchase of goods and services with the passage of time. Family life-cycle consists of different stages such young singles, married couples, unmarried couples etc which help marketers to develop appropriate products for each stage.

• Occupation

The occupation of a person has significant impact on his buying behavior. For example a marketing manager of an organization will try to purchase business suits, whereas a low level worker in the same organization will purchase rugged work clothes.

• Economic Situation

Consumer economic situation has great influence on his buying behavior. If the income and savings of a customer is high then he will purchase more expensive products. On the other hand, a person with low income and savings will purchase inexpensive products.

• Lifestyle

Lifestyle of customers is another import factor affecting the consumer buying behavior. Lifestyle refers to the way a person lives in a society and is expressed by the things in his/her surroundings. It is determined by customer interests, opinions, activities etc and shapes his whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world.

• Personality

Personality changes from person to person, time to time and place to place. Therefore it can greatly influence the buying behavior of customers. Actually, Personality is not what one wears; rather it is the totality of behavior of a man in different circumstances. It has different characteristics such as: dominance, aggressiveness, self-confidence etc which can be useful to determine the consumer behavior for particular product or service.

4. Psychological Factors

There are four important psychological factors affecting the consumer buying behavior. These are: perception, motivation, learning, beliefs and attitudes.

• Motivation

The level of motivation also affects the buying behavior of customers. Every person has different needs such as physiological needs, biological needs, social needs etc. The nature of the needs is that, some of them are most pressing while others are least pressing. Therefore a need becomes a motive when it is more pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction.

• Perception

Selecting, organizing and interpreting information in a way to produce a meaningful experience of the world is called perception. There are three different perceptual processes which are selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention. In case of selective attention, marketers try to attract the customer attention. Whereas, in case of selective distortion, customers try to interpret the information in a way that will support what the customers already believe. Similarly, in case of selective retention, marketers try to retain information that supports their beliefs.

• Beliefs and Attitudes

Customer possesses specific belief and attitude towards various products. Since such beliefs and attitudes make up brand image and affect consumer buying behavior therefore marketers are interested in them. Marketers can change the beliefs and attitudes of customers by launching special campaigns in this regard.

The Opposition of Emotionally Colored and Emotionally Neutral Vocabulary

A tendency to judge that speech is only an instrument for making statements is rather primitive. Some people forget that there are a lot of different possibilities. The way we speak also expresses our emotions, attitude to people interrelations between the audience and the speaker.

Sometimes it is necessary to guide people, to warn them or to show somebody’s disapproval or approval or to make your speech sound more enthusiastic or encouraging. We should take all these into consideration while investigating the lexical meaning of words. Using such terms as “emotive” or “expressive”; “affective” or “evaluative”, some people think they are synonyms, for example, that an emotive word is of necessity also a stylistically colored word, or considering all stylistically colored words as emotional. But that is not the case.

So, let us agree that so-called emotive speech is any utterance expressing different human emotions. It is easy to find in speech a great number of syntactical, lexical and intonational peculiarities. Thus, by lexical peculiarities I mean special, emotionally colored words. The emotional coloring of the word may be occasional or permanent. Let us focus on the second. Lexical units acquire their emotional coloring, in other words, their affective connotation, in emotional contexts of particular situations.

The most common type of emotional words, as it seems to me, are interjections. The fact is that they express a lot of emotions without naming them: Ouch! My! Boy! Heaven! Wow! Ah! etc. The interjections may be derived from other parts of speech or be primary interjections. For example, if you describe something as a “drag”, what do you mean? It is boring, too difficult or physically exhausting? Certainly, something that is annoying or boring. We can find a lot of emotional words in everyday small talks or in the literature: ” I love Sibyl Vane. I want to place her on a pedestal of gold, and to see the world worship the woman who is mine. What is marriage? An irrevocable vow. You mock at it for that. Ah! don’t mock.” ( Oscar Wild “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Moscow Progress Publishers 1979 Volume One, page 170)

To express irritation, mockery or any other emotions the speech should possess some special traits, that would show the audience that the speaker’s emotions are very strong. The traditional word order is not used in such cases, but one can obviously find the inversion. More to that, very interesting and vivid examples of echo-conversations can be found in everyday spoken speech. Sometimes it sounds really amusing: “Why should I… ?” – “Stop why-should-I-ing!” or “Oh, come on!”- “Don’t come-on-me!” These are examples of mockery back-chat. It is funny to find brand new words like “why-should-I-ing” invented by the speaker in the moment of utter irritation. This type of emotional speech is definitely increasing in the speech of young people today, as the native speakers assume.

The emotionally colored words are opposed to the emotionally neutral ones. These words actually express notions (It is the so-called nominating function) but they fail to express the speaker’s emotions or his attitude towards people or the speaker’s mood. However, sometimes it is very difficult to tell the sets as they are not very distinguishing, there are a lot of mixed cases. Some of them may possess traits that belong to both. Many words are definitely neutral in their primary, direct meaning but absolutely emotional in the certain conversation under the conditions of the context.

Another group of words may be called “evaluator-words” which contrasts in speech to the neutral words. These words, while we use them in the sentences, can not only show the presence of emotions but identify or specify them.

Just to sum up what have been mentioned I would like to underline that emphatic and emotional words do not show emotions by themselves but impact these to the whole utterance in the combination with syntactic and intonational means.

The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I’ve always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as “smart,” but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we’d have a world full of beautiful, smart people – which we don’t.

Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do “street smarts” matter more than “book smarts”? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one’s environment?

Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.

What does it mean to be highly educated? What’s the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?

My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.

My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.


With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.

There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that’s high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.

Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.


Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students’ ease of learning.


Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking – especially during the second trimester – is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.

“IQ is a measure of the child’s ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function,” said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:

“There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of – or react appropriately to – mistakes.”

This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.


Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.

Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.

Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for “keepsake” purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.

The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.

On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:

While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.


Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it’s time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?

Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it’s time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn’t be an either/or proposition.

A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment – and not genes – makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.

Specifically, what researchers call “heritability”- the degree to which genes influence IQ – was significantly lower for poor families. “Once you’re put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over,” Mr. Turkheimer said, “but in poor environments genes don’t have that ability.”

But there are reports that contradict these findings…sort of.

Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.

She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as “shared” because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.

In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:

With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.

Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.


Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.

The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.

The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.


Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.

Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.

Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the “great mission” of the white middle class – the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.

Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.


At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.

An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that “accumulated advantages” are made possible by arbitrary rules…and such unfair advantages are everywhere. “It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success,” he writes. “It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.


Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?

I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.

Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a “good” education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs – especially those which help the underprivileged – are cut.

The reality is, we don’t really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one’s character and life through learning.

What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There’s always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.

Ironically, the best teachers don’t go into the profession for money. They teach because it’s a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession – voluntarily and involuntarily – within an average of three years.

At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial “exit” exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.

This mentality carries over into college, which of course there’s a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting “A’s” and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The “get-the-good-grade” mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.

Alfie Kohn advocates the “exhibition” of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.

He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five “habits of mind,” which are: the value of raising questions about evidence (“How do we know what we know?”), point of view, (“Whose perspective does this represent?”), connections (“How is this related to that?”), supposition (“How might things have been otherwise?”), and relevance (“Why is this important?”).

Kohn writes: It’s only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one’s interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking…to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends…


We’ve always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.

Things have changed…or have they?

No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.

It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one’s intellectual capabilities.

According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child’s intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.

The original interest was in the assessment of ‘mental age’ — the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a “scale”), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.

H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet’s work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.

It’s important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate – both up and down during the course of one’s lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.

One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a “fixed” trait.

Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with “dumb” and “inferior” babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?

Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:

000 – 070: Definite feeble-mindedness

070 – 079: Borderline deficiency

080 – 089: Dullness

090 – 109: Normal or average intelligence

110 – 119: Superior intelligence

115 – 124: Above average (e.g., university students)

125 – 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)

135 – 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)

145 – 154: Genius (e.g., professors)

155 – 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)

165 – 179: High genius

180 – 200: Highest genius

200 – higher ?: Immeasurable genius

*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).

*Einstein was considered to “only” have an IQ of about 160.


Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.

Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn’t even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one’s environment, and learn from one’s mistakes.

How about that? There’s the word environment again. We just can’t seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It means recognizing what’s going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it – and the people who occupy it – in order to survive and succeed within it.

There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.

He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)

Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)

Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)

Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)

Musical intelligence (“music smart”)

Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)

Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)

Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:


According to, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.

Cattell defined fluid intelligence as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships.” Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.

Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.

Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.


Then there’s Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.

His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one’s overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.

With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.

As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.


In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence – IQ – only account for 20% of a person’s success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman’s assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?

You guessed it…Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee

relations and increase productivity.


You’ve heard the phrase, “Experience is the greatest teacher…”

In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is “street smarts,” which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka “book smarts”) has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.

Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.

Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to “stick” both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual’s goals. Knowledge that is based on one’s own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one’s goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else’s experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.


Yes, it’s possible to be both smart and stupid. I’m sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.

The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don’t appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.

It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one’s brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.

Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one’s affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.

The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.


My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could “read” people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her “crystallized intelligence” with whomever was receptive to it.

She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I’m being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.

What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what’s important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.

The Importance of Food in Our Life

Food is the basic necessity for all of us and we all earn money to get this basic necessity. We need to eat 3 meals a day to keep our body running so that we can manage our daily functions. Many of us ” Eat food to live” while there are others who “Live to eat food”. In fact, nutrition assumes a special importance in each and everyone’s life.

Types of Foodstuff

The food is normally divided into two main categories given below:-

1- Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like milk, fruits and vegetables. These are those stuff that are obtained from plants and trees.

2- Non- Vegetarian food- These include stuffs like meat and meat products, chicken, turkey, fish, squid etc. Non vegetarian food are generally obtained by killing animals.

Nutrition from Foodstuff

Nutrition from food is necessary and without this daily dose of nutrition animals may not survive for long. It is important to support life as nourishment obtained helps the cells present in our body to carry out its routine functions. Different stuffs provide different levels of nutrition. The nutrients are divided into six classes which are given below:-

1- Carbohydrates- These provide energy to the body and are found in items like rice, bread and other grain products.

2- Fats- It consists of a group of compounds that are generally insoluble in water. These are found in items like butter, ghee, fish oil, lard etc. Fats are stored in the human body for use at a later use for energy.

3- Minerals- These are needed for the maintenance of proper functions in the body like the transport of oxygen throughout the body, stimulating growth, normalizing the nervous system etc. Minerals can be found from a variety of food items such as meat, cereals including cereal products such as bread, fish, milk and dairy foods.

4- Protein- These are important components of muscles, skin and hair. Proteins are helpful in creation of various enzymes in the body that control various important functions. Major sources of protein include milk, meat, fish, egg, and vegetables.

5- Vitamins- They are an essential component of animal body required for good health. It is organic compound required as a nutrient. Good sources of vitamins are fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk and eggs.

6- Water- It is popularly known as the”elixir of life”. The human body comprises of 55-78 % of water. It is required for the essential functioning of the various important parts of the human body.

Thus, these points given above reflect the importance of food and nutrients in our diet. As long as a human is alive, he needs water and foods in the required quantity.

A Few Fantastic Health Benefits of Yoga

There are so many of us who inevitably end up associating yoga with its “physical” attributes. In fact, they shy away from it simply thinking that yoga is strictly meant for the physically fit or the athletic ones. A highly erroneous notion. The concept is far from truth-very far! Yes, it’s a physical exercise. No doubt about it. However, one needs to understand that this ancient practice entails much more than just “body”- yogis aim for that perfect realm of stability where the mind, body and spirit work in cohesion. Today, we will be primarily discussing the health benefits of yoga but not before clearly pointing out that you can practice it even if you are not athletic! Here’s what you need to find out about the health benefits of yoga. They are simply fantastic.

It can bolster the function of lungs

Deep purposeful breathing is a part of the yogic experience. Such exercises, as per studies, can actually improve the functioning of lungs. With a better-functioning pair of lungs you can expect to perform a lot of activities better – like running or walking long distances without getting tired.

Exercises bolster the condition of your heart as well

Patients with high blood pressure and cholesterol can benefit a lot from yogic exercises. Studies, for instance, have shown that individuals practicing yoga on a regular basis have lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced risks of blood cholesterol level. What more? The efficaciousness of the breathing exercises is now even harnessed by doctors to address heart ailments. Medical practitioners duly acknowledge the usefulness of the right breathing techniques and exercises when it comes to reversing symptoms of several stress induced diseases or heart ailments.

These exercises help you master the right postures

The importance of sitting, working and walking in the right posture is mostly undermined by us. We often fail to identify the evils of wrong postures. For instance, we just fail to realize that wrong postures can actually give birth to a number of problems including neck pain, shoulder pain and so much more.

Practicing yoga can help you build stronger muscles so that they can support the right postures. Yogic exercises also add flexibility to your body thereby eliminating muscle tension so that you are able to walk and sit with your shoulders straight. You can sit with your stomach tucked in as well.

Yoga can also help you fight depression

Meditation or relaxation exercises can help you get out of depressive thoughts as well. For many depressed people, when every measure fails, yoga turns out to be the answer.

So, what exactly are you waiting for? It doesn’t matter how old you are or how athletic (or not) you are, you can always trust the therapeutic benefits of yoga in a major way. Find a credentialed instructor and get going! Make sure you are exploring more about these exercises and their benefits by reading up about the same. There is no dearth of resources to help you there. Make sure you’re keeping these points in view.

How To Stop a Dachshund Puppy From Biting

Dachshunds are tenacious, independent and smart, originally bred to hunt and kill badgers.  These characteristics have been passed down the generations which can cause problems with barking, biting and aggression if Dachshunds are not well trained from a young age

As soon as you see your Dachshund puppy biting it is time to address the problem.  Dachshund puppies look cute and you wouldn’t think that the small nips they give would be a problem, but not stopping the behavior can result in significant aggression problems later in life.

Start Young

If you were to watch a puppy grow up in a litter you would see that biting is regulated by the puppies themselves.  When one puppy bites another, the outcome is typically that the puppy they bite turns round and bites them back.  This is a very effective deterrent resulting in most puppies knowing not to bite by the time they are ready to go to their new home.

If you have problems with your Dachshund puppy biting, take immediate action!  At this young age your puppy is play biting.  You should never hit your Dachshund, especially not at this age when they will not understand what they have done wrong.  Doing so will frighten them and can lead to problems with anxiety and aggression as they grow up.

To stop your Dachshund puppy biting you need to take a consistent, fair approach, not just to the biting, but to their behavior in general.  Reward good behaviors and discourage bad behaviors, making certain that you are not giving mixed messages.  For example, if you want to stop your Dachshund puppy biting then you shouldn’t play games that involve chasing.  Remember, Dachshunds were bred to chase and catch prey and will likely grab hold of you if you run from them.

Ways to Stop Puppy Biting

When your Dachshund puppy bites your instinct may be to punish them, but this is the wrong thing to do.  Instead tell them “no”, or make a high pitched squeal when they bite, then giving them something acceptable to chew on such as a dog toy as soon as they let go.  Making a yelping noise can be very effective in stopping biting as it is similar to the noise that your puppies litter mates made when they were bitten.  Your Dachshund puppy will soon learn that biting you is not OK, but biting their toys is.

If you get an older Dachshund puppy who has not been taught not to bite your task may be more difficult.  If the technique described above doesn’t work then you should consider taking them to puppy training classes.  In addition to having expert help with the biting problem, your Dachshund puppy will have the opportunity to be well socialized with both people and other dogs their age.

How Your Choice in Cars Reflects Your Personality

Automobiles have become an integral part of our society. Intended to be used as a tool to get from point A to point B cars have extended their use in today’s society.

This article discusses a few points on car selection and personality. Cars have long stopped being tools that get us from one point to another and have transformed into status symbols and reflect the driver’s values and personality.

Often people judge a person by the car they drive. If you are stepping out a Bentley for example, you would garner much respect from just about anyone who witnesses you getting out of the car.

The condition and look of your car has extended the mantra of your discipline being reflected on how your wear your clothes. Being seen parking a dirty car is the equivalent to going to the office in a disheveled suit. Analogously, alighting from an impeccably detailed car is the prim and proper look that many office executives are known for.

In fact nowadays what you drive adds more to your reputation than what you wear. Studies have shown than rides reflect more of the personality of the person than clothes. Cars have ceased becoming tools and have transcended into the realm of lifestyle.

Playboys want fast looking coupes while daddies are opting to get minivans. Buicks are said to cater to the less internet savvy drivers compared to Honda which has an overwhelmingly digital age buyer group.

This trend even goes to driving tendencies. Sports cars owners tend to be a little less patient on the stop light than station wagon drivers. The gigantic proportions of some SUVs tend to make their owners bully smaller sized vehicles in rush hour traffic.

Brands like Lexus are tend to be bought by wealth and well educated owners. Aside from that demographic the brand caters mostly to married couples. This reflects stability and a more settled down personality for the buyers.

Your choices in the car you are driving very much reflect your personality. Stop thinking of your car as something that takes from one place to another but take great care in choosing your car. You may not think it matters but your peers will gauge your personality on the car you drive.

The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down

One of the most important factors in injury prevention is warming up and cooling down, and should not be neglected.

Warming up refers to a preparatory phase at the beginning of an exercise session. Warming up generally involves a period of low-impact exercise regimes which prepare the body for the more strenuous aspects of the sporting activity. Warming up is an important aspect of exercise in reducing the risk of injury that would possibly happen if over stretching occurred, without the person being physically warmed up and prepared for the exercise.

Cooling down refers to a short period at the end of an exercise session. The cooling down phase, again, tends to involve a short period of low-impact exercise which gradually returns the body to its ‘resting state’. The cooling down phase is believed to reduce the risk of muscular soreness which may occur the day after an exercise session, and reduce the risk of fainting or collapse after such a session.

The Warming Up Session

An exercise session should always commence with a period of warm up. In some cases it may take the form of a series of specially designed preparatory exercise, whilst in other sessions it will simply involve performing the activity at a low density before increasing the intensity to the desired level. The warming up period is important for the following reasons:

  • It gets the body ready for the physcal exertion that follows. This optimises the physical condition, enabling the body to cope more easily with the activity. It also enables the athlete to get the most benefit from the session.
  • If the warm-up session has specific movements relating to the sporting activity the muscles can be re-educated in preparation for the coming activities.
  • It reduces the risk of injury (cold muscles do not stretch very easily) and it reduces the risk of premature fatigue which can occur if the cardiovascular system is unprepared for strenuous activity.
  • It prepares cardiac function for increased activity and reduces the risk of stress being placed on the heart.

A typical warm-up may involve some ‘loosening exercises’ followed by a few minutes of low-impact aerobic activity and then a series of stretching exercises. This may last for approximately five to fifteen minutes depending upon the intensity of the session which follows. Loosening exercises at the start of the warm up may include activities such as ‘stretching’ and ‘running on the spot’. These are gentle activities which begin to prepare the body for exercise and are especially important if the athlete has been inactive for a while.

The aerobic exercise may involve activities such as cycling on an exercise cycle. This has the effect of increasing the heart rate, diverting blood to the exercising muscles and raising the overall temperature of the muscles.

Stretching exercises provide the final phase of warm up and ensure that the muscles and tendons are prepared for the exercise. An important reason for stretching exercises is to prevent the muscles and tendons from being overstretched during the session. Such a warm up will also prepare the joints for physical activity.

The Effects of Warm Up on the Body are:

  • Cold muscle, tendons and connectinve tissue do not stretch very easily. Stretching without a warm-up is therefore unlikely to produce the best effects. Warming up also relaxes the body and muscle which further allows them to be stretched effectively. It is also believed that cold muscles and tendons are more prone to damage since they are more likely to tear when cold.
  • A warm-up increases the heart rate gradually, and aerobic exercise prepares the heart and cardiovascular system, together with the muscles, gradually, for exercise.
  • A warm-up also causes the blood to be diverted to the exercising muscles. This is achieved by getting the blood vessels that supply the muscles being used, to dilate. This extra blood is diverted from areas of the body not as important for exercising, such as the gut.
  • Exercising, without warming up, may cause the muscles to work without an adequate oxygen supply. This forces them to use anaerobic processes to supplement their production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). As a consequence, lactic acid accumulates and the muscles may become prematurely fatigued.

A warm-up increases the temperature of the body. This increase in temperature facilitates and speeds up many of the processes associated with exercise metabolism. It increases the rate of nerve impulse transmission, the rate of oxygen delivery to the muscles and the speed of the reactions associated with the production of ATP. Therefore, in this context, a warm up may be said to optimise the condition of the body.

Cooling Down

A cool-down involves a short period at the end of an exercise session during which the physical activity of the body is gradually reduced to almost its resting level. A cool-down therefore often involves a period of low-impact aerobic exercise which is gradually reduced, followed by a few gentle stretching exercises. This has a number of effects.

The gentle aerobic activity helps to get rid of any metabolic waste products which may have accumulated during the exercise session. The benefits of an active recovery are believed to be related to the muscles continuing to receive a more extensive supply of oxygenated blood, which will also assist with the removal of metabolic waste products.

During exercise the blood is being pumped around the body by the action of the heart. However, the blood is assisted in its return to the heart via the venous system and muscular contraction. If an athlete stops exercising suddenly, the heart continues to beat fast, sending blood around the body, but, because the exercise has ceased, the blood is no longer assisted in its return to the heart. It is suggested that this is one of the reasons why people sometimes feel faint after exercise. During a cool-down, the heart rate is gradually lowered to its resting level and the venous return continues to be assisted by the actively contracting muscles, thereby preventing this problem.

After exercising, and following the cool-down period, the athlete’s heart will still need a period of time to settle back down to its full resting rate but should be within 30 beats of what it was before the exercise session started. This will, of course, be influenced by the overall physical condition of the individual. It may also be influenced by the content of the session, with more demanding sessions requiring a more extensive cool-down. The cooling down period also provides an opportunity for the inclusion of additional stretching exercises, which may be desirable especially if they were not included as part of the main session. The inclusion of stretching exercises within the cool-down period not only helps to gradually lower the activity level of the body at the end of the session, but it may also prevent stiffness the following day.

The cool-down period is also likely to take place when the body is warm, making the muscles more receptive to stretching. The most effective stretching can therefore be performed at this time.