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15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

City dwellers have some strange ideas about people who live in the countryside. The charm of a country life may attract suburbanites during holidays. But there are some things you’ll only know if you actually grew up in a rural area.

1. You don’t need an alarm clock

The rooster in your backyard wakes you up every morning at the crack of dawn. It doesn’t come with a snooze button either. Some of you would argue that roosters actually have a built-in snooze button. They’ll crow approximately every 2 minutes for about 8 cycles. But you’ll have little luck sleeping in.

2. You know your neighbors’ birthdays

The village isn’t like the city where neighbors don’t talk to each other. Even though people don’t exactly live right next door, you take the time to get to know your neighbors really well. Well enough to know when their birthdays are.

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3. You catch up on local news at the local pub/bar

The community is scattered over a vast expanse of land. But, come weekend, everyone loves a tipple and catches up on the latest news at the local pub. Whether it’s jobs or someone’s had a baby, you’ll get to hear it here.

4. You have to plan for your grocery run

Unless you’re in a rather dense village and the corporations haven’t ignored your town, chances are you’ll have to travel a bit to get to the nearest grocery store. If the town is a good 30 minutes away, you had better well make sure you have your groceries for the week planned well in advance. The supermarkets are only open till 5:30 PM on weekdays and till noon on Saturday (if you’re lucky). When in doubt, you end up buying surplus provisions. It can always be thrown in the freezer.

5. You learn to become handy around the house

Getting a tradesman to come in and fix up the broken tap or the faulty lawnmower will only rob you of bragging rights at the pub. You end up asking your friends or just putting your mind to it and figuring out how it’s done. And once you’re done fixing it, you go back out to chop wood. What good is a fireplace without it? When in doubt, you use duct tape. If that doesn’t work, a staple gun or liquid nails (glue) will do the job just fine.

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6. You are part of a close knit community and proud of it

We have a strong sense of community because there are only so many people that matter. Some of us have helped Mr. Brown herd his cattle and assisted the local junior soccer team in raising funds to keep the club going. Although we’re not exactly best mates with everyone, we do have a smirk on our faces every time we think of our community. Most of us are close enough to the community that we can spot a stranger a mile away. Let the staring games begin!

7. You learn to drive at a very young age

ATVs, motocross bikes, trucks, tractors, etc. are all just toys waiting for a master to commandeer them. With the limited number of hands available in the household to assist with chores, you learn to master these machines well before you actually reach the legal age to drive.

8. They think we shop at the farmers market

Farmers markets are pretend-markets for the suburban and city dwellers. Food reaches you through the same channels as everyone else: supermarkets. You’ll likely have a favorite local deli or butcher, but all other packaged foodstuff still comes from the supermarket. How else is one supposed to get carrots and bananas all year round? However, the barter system is alive and well in the country and still very much legitimate currency. Veggies are swapped between neighbours. You can trade wild rabbits or ducks for farmed pigs with your farmer friends. Eggs are traded for lemons.

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9. You have a veggie patch even if you farm

This is more of a charm and a privilege of having more land available to you. Those apartment dwellers would never be able to get away with it. Your veggie patch gives you instant access to herbs and other condiments like tomatoes and chillies just in case you forgot to pick them up in the last grocery run. Besides, it doesn’t get any fresher than plucking the veggie off the vine.

10. You don’t have to lock the door to your home

The odds of someone breaking in are so slim that it really isn’t worth a bother trying to lock the door behind you. Your property is remote enough that anti-social elements dare not venture anywhere near it.

11. You have to drive everywhere

Unless you’re out for a stroll on your acreage, this one is in fact true. Distance between dwellings and amenities make driving a necessity. Even if you were to give your neighbor, whose birthday you know so well, a Mars bar slice, you would have to drive over, because they live 3 miles away. That being said, I’ve come across a fair few cyclists in country towns.

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12. We love having guests “pop in”

“Popping in” starts with the obligatory “Heeellllooooooo,” 40 decibels higher than one would normally speak. That’s just in case the person you’re popping in to see is out in the massive backyard feeding the chicken. If there’s no answer, you’re fully endorsed to let yourself in through the back gate to see if they’re in the back shed. I said back shed, because the front shed is for fixing things and the back shed is for chicken feed and pick-axe. And don’t worry, the giant Boxer, Alsatian, Rottweiler dog is there for show. They’re a friendly lot, unless you’re the town veterinarian. If so, RUN! If not, just let yourself in the house, which is unlocked, and make yourself a cup of coffee. The neighbor probably just popped out for more milk and should be home soon.

13. You prefer quiet time

Unlike urban life which is on the go all the time, you have the privilege of putting some quiet time aside for yourself. No, this isn’t isolation. Just time to reminisce and perhaps meditate and enjoy the peace within and around you. The best time for quiet contemplation is at night. In the country, where there is a distinct lack of street lighting, the stars seem to shine brighter. You can see the “arms” of our galaxy. Put on your stove top kettle, make a cup of coffee (or tea), take out the deck chair, and watch the stars (and occasional satellite) while sipping your coffee with a homemade cookie to munch on.

14. You are culturally in sync with the world

It’s the 21st century and the great invention that is internet, shortly after television, has made its way to rural towns. That’s right, city-slickers, we have the same sort of access to information and programs as you do. While you’re reading this we’re already thinking of whether to go to Bordeaux or Burgundy for our upcoming vacation in France.

15. You know that not everyone from the country is a horse rider

This has got to be the most common misconception among suburban and city dwellers. The first thing they think of about rural lifestyle is horse riding. Practically everyone has cars these days, and horses have been replaced by ATVs for the most part. Unless you’re part of the local pony or rodeo club or are a horse breeder, chances are you are unlikely a horse rider. The movie “city slickers” has a lot to answer for.

Featured photo credit: Australian Apprenticeships via australianapprenticeships.gov.au

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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