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Why I Wish I Tried Outdoor Yoga Earlier

Why I Wish I Tried Outdoor Yoga Earlier
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I’ve been a yoga fanatic for some time and was getting to a pretty comfortable place at my studio until a friend invited me to go do an outdoor session with her one Saturday morning. It was phenomenal! Why hadn’t I tried it earlier?! The poses and movements I thought I was good at were suddenly so much harder and I was stumbling all over the place. But I didn’t feel like a failure, instead I felt like I had hit a new level with my yoga. In case you’re still unsure as to whether you want to try outdoor yoga, check out these following benefits. If I had known about these benefits beforehand, I would have tried outdoor yoga far sooner!

It Aligns You With Nature

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    Yeah, I know, it’s an obvious benefit—but just wait. This connection isn’t just for nature buffs, by practicing outside you can help with certain mental ailments. It has been shown that being outside can help with depression, stress, dementia, and your overall wellbeing. Practicing yoga outdoors can not only be a physical benefit for you but can also help with mental struggles. If you find yourself overly stressed by family life or work, try taking a morning or two to practice your yoga poses in the park or even in your backyard.

    It Increases Skill and Muscles for Balance

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      When I first started yoga, my balance was terrible! After months of practice, I found that I struggled less, but then I tried outdoor yoga. Talk about a shocker! You often think grass lawns are pretty flat, but my mat was rippled all over the place by the bouncy grass stalks and random little rocks or bumps in the ground. Since starting outdoor yoga, my balance has improved exponentially. In the gym, I often used certain spots on the wall or ceilings to focus to help with my balance, but almost everything outside was moving so I had to dig deeper into my muscles to keep steady.

      It Develops Inner Strength and Stability

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        Doing yoga outdoors tends to push you to become one with the wind and atmosphere. When you’re outside, you can’t really control the environment (or temperature!) which means that you begin to gain more strength and stability because you aren’t in such a quiet and perfect setting! Being outdoors forces us to accept these natural elements (noises, breeze, sun heat, etc.) which in turn helps us become more stable and stronger in more than just the physical aspects of our lives and bodies. Don’t forget that you may want to switch up your yoga pants for outdoor yoga. If it’s going to be warmer and you don’t have the choice of turning down the AC, you may want to get a pair of capri yoga pants when practicing outside.

        Oh! And by the way, another great benefit of outdoor yoga is that it improves your lung capacity. Your body has a 6-liter lung capacity and being outside often makes you want to breath deeper to get more oxygen in. This then breaks up pollutants or toxins that get trapped in your alveoli.

        It’s More of a Challenge

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          When practicing outside, there are more things to get distracted by. With so many variables and distractions you will need to focus harder on breathing and balance. This will improve your mental strength and clarity. Along with this, attempting to balance your poses in grass or sand can also produce more of a challenge! Because of uneven ground, little critters, or even the sun shinning in your eyes, you will need to try harder to keep your balance and focus on your poses.

          Most of us already know that yoga is a great form of exercise, not just for extremely active people either. And if you’ve already tapped into those great benefits, maybe it’s time to move up to the next level. If you’re looking for more a challenge or feel like you have hit a stalemate with your yoga, try switching up your studio time with a few more outdoor sessions. You will be so surprised by the growth and mental benefits!

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          If you’re still looking for more information on the benefits of practicing outdoor yoga, take a look at the articles here and here.

          Featured photo credit: Stickney Brook Yoga 386/Matthew Ragan via flic.kr

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          Bethany Cleg

          Photographer, Entrepreneur

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          Last Updated on April 19, 2021

          8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals

          8 Weight Loss Tracker and Exercise Apps for Your Fitness Goals
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          Are you frustrated by the fact that you haven’t been able to lose weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day? How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get, and why doesn’t anything seem to be working? A weight loss tracker can help you answer all of these questions and more.

          How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

          Have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

          If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

          You can start by checking out Lifehack’s Busy Yet Fit Course, which will help you get into the groove of working out, even if you have a busy lifestyle.

          If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

          I am about to show you the top weight loss tracker apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

          Keep reading to find the apps that might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

          1. MyFitnessPal

            When it comes to the best weight loss tracker apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

            MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

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            Just enter the ingredients of each meal you eat, and it will add up how many calories you eat. It can also scan product barcodes and automatically enter those calories for you.

            Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients. Furthermore, you can input a desired weight to track your weight loss journey.

            While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

            If you want a one-stop map to success, then this is it! This will not only help you develop a game plan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

            Get the app here!

            2. Fitbit

              I know you’ve already heard of this app, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

              While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

              Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving and motivated throughout the day.

              This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure, especially if you’re looking for a great weight loss tracker.

              Get the app here!

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              3. MapMyRun

                This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. Furthermore, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

                If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

                Once, my husband ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

                MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be part of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

                Get the app here!

                4. Zombies, Run!

                  Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

                  ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget you are exercising!

                  This app takes you through a storyline and makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

                  You certainly won’t need to worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on its own.

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                  Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (as we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

                  Get the app here!

                  5. Prepear

                    Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter and is a great addition as a weight loss tracker.

                    Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

                    With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

                    Get the app here!

                    6. Strava

                      If walking is your health resolution, this weight loss tracker might be for you. Strava is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

                      This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

                      Get the app here!

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                      7. Aaptiv

                        If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you. Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

                        While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aaptiv is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                        The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                        Get the app here!

                        8. Freeletics

                          Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym. Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight with no equipment needed.

                          You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                          That’s right, you work-travelers; say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                          Get the app here!

                          The Bottom Line

                          These 8 weight loss tracker apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

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                          Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams!

                          More Tips for Weight Loss

                          Featured photo credit: Gabin Vallet via unsplash.com

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