The winter is still here at least in most parts of the country but there are all the signs of spring on the horizon. Only the most spirited or laziest of us still have our Christmas decorations up Rodger Saffold Jersey , and the aisles of stores of being crammed to bursting with candy for Valentines Day and Easter. In some of the warmer climes, buds are already on trees.

What happens after spring? Summer. And what happens in summer? Clothes become fewer, sparser, lighter, and more form revealing. That parka that has hidden your extra poundage lo these many months will simply look ridiculous in summer so it s time to start thinking about what you re going to do about the fact that not only did you not think about what you were eating between Thanksgiving 2008 and New Year s 2009, but you also didn t think about what you were eating between New Year s 2008 and Thanksgiving 2008.

Sobering thoughts, eh?

Gym memberships are always going to be good ideas, but for a lot of us, they don t turn into a really wise investment. If you re paying for a gym membership that you never use, try forcing yourself to go every day for two months. Studies show that two months is the amount of time necessary for human beings to turn habits into normal behavior. If you suffer through getting up early, going to the gym, and eating healthy foods (in lieu of unhealthy ones, rather than in addition to unhealthy ones) for two whole months, it is highly likely that you will be able to follow this regimen for the rest of your life with no added pain.

If you re just the couch potato guy stuck in a rut, however, you need to find other ways of helping yourself. If it s really too cold out there to do an outdoor sport or if you don t like two man bobsled or curling keep your membership at the gym and get into a sports league. Basketball is great for stamina cardio and strength knocking guys down and throwing baskets from all corners of the gym. Handball, racquetball, and other sports that require you to be with other people are also good choices. The thing is that if you ve been unable to make it to the gym to practice your standing squats, you need to get into a sport that requires you to make yourself needed by other people. Make a commitment to being there when they need you to play, and you will not only lose weight, but you will also find yourself a new social group.

If the weather is getting pretty out where you are or if you anticipate that at some point it will be pretty you can sign yourself up for an outdoor sport such as baseball or softball. There are also outdoor basketball recreation leagues. If you re kind of an East Coaster or Easter Coaster wannabe, find a crew to row with and a lacrosse league. Anything that keeps you moving is a good choice.

Even though the old idea of exercise clothes for real exercise, not walking around like one of the Sopranos or Mr. Furley from Three s Company used to be comfortable and even ratty, I think you should invest in some decent exercise garb. You ll feel better and look more like a guy who knows what he s doing if you re not the one in the obscenely short shorts or the shoes that smell like gangrenous body parts. If you feel good about it and if you ve made the investment, anyway you re more likely to enjoy your time on the courtfieldriver.

Now, as one of the Sporting Fellows one admires so much, you ve got something new to talk about. Your dedication, your buds, your amazing weight loss you pick, since you re the one living the dream now.

And even if you can t wear your snazzy new exercise clothes to work or out to eat and no, you can t you can show off your new sport to your colleagues and friends and potential friends. Throw your gear into the trunk of your car or bring your racquet to the office and talk incessantly about how you must have it restrung. This will crack your colleagues up, and it s good to make other people laugh.

Or, if you prefer not to be the guy everyone s laughing about, try picking up a pair of subtle but attractive cufflinks that advertise your particular sporting passion to the world. Cufflinks are always a nice addition to your ensemble, and by personalizing them to match your hobby, you are opening the door to friendship or comradeship with, perhaps a boss who has the same hobby with a guaranteed conversation starter. Try switching out your everyday cufflinks with a pair of sports cufflinks, something resembling tiny footballs or baseballs, or with your favorite sports team emblazoned on them.

When it comes right down to it, when you re in a great suit and good looking and interesting accessories, you ll look as if you ve lost 10 pounds. No gym membership required.

MANILA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine stock market ended Friday's session with more bargain hunting, bringing back the index to the 7,000 level.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index added 1.09 percent or 76.72 points to 7,098.81, while the broader all-share index gained 1.24 percent or 49.71 points to 4,056.08.

Trading volume reached 1.47 billion shares worth 11.26 billion Philippine pesos (241.09 million U.S. dollars) with 129 stocks advancing, 46 declining, and 40 were unchanged.

"Following a sea of red last Monday that threatened to pull the market into bearish territory, the welcome whiff of a positive news cycle breezed providing a clearing on the horizon," analyst Justino Calaycay of Accord Capital Equities Corp. said in his daily stock market comment.

The Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) came in line with most forecast, albeit a tad lower than our minimum 5.7 percent, while the US GDP beat estimates.

Meanwhile, the People's Bank of China's (PBOC) second major intervention in as many months appears to have settled frayed nerves.

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