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5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

5 Life Changes That Will Make You Jump Out of Bed Every Morning!

If you want to see how life is meant to be lived, just take a few moments and watch children play.  Their first instincts are to explore, create, experience and have fun! We carry this explorer instinct with us through our teen years and maybe through the first few years out of college, but then something occurs; we grow up.

After all, life can get pretty serious.  College graduates must find jobs, housing, pay bills and establish themselves.  Then it’s time to find a spouse, settle down and start a family. Next, gotta focus on promotions to get those big raises to provide for that beautiful young family.  And what about college educations and retirement? And by the time the college graduate realizes, 25 years has quickly and magically disappeared!  Becoming an adult is a process and it tends to result in people being formed and pressed into molds.  We learn as we grow older that being different isn’t always the best thing.

Many of us even learn to modify our behavior to make sure we don’t stick out of the crowd. Ever heard the expression “Fly under the radar?” There is one problem though.  Conformity suppresses our individuality; the essence that makes each of us unique.  And once our spirit is suppressed it may take years, if ever, to excavate.

In order to reawaken that child-like, adventure-seeking, explorer within, we must introduce new and exciting things to our lives to reawaken our authentic self and make us feel alive once again! My motto is: if you can change your thinking, you can change your life!  So here are 5 life changes that will make you jump out of bed every morning:

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1. Begin planning a fall vacation in January

Nothing says excitement like getting away from it all and relaxing!!  And what better way to add excitement back into your life than to spend your year planning and anticipating an exotic vacation?!  Imagine beginning your year with the knowledge that you may end up anywhere in the world come September or October.

The possibilities are endless: cruises, Caribbean islands, United States, Asia, Europe, Disney, hiking, skiing, scuba, relaxing, cocktails, great food, etc.  Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps! And the fun of it all is you get to plan every aspect along the way.  Talk about adventure right from the same chair you boringly scanned the internet just 2 months prior!

Now your life has a purpose and you have some fun to look forward to.  Not only that, but the excitement of the unknown and the unlimited possibilities reawakens your dormant adventurous spirit which, in turn, adds excitement to a boring, mundane life!

2. Join an exciting exercise program

I cannot think of a better way to change one’s life than to begin living a healthy lifestyle. I experienced the benefits of a healthy lifestyle a few years ago upon losing 25 pounds following my MS diagnosis.  And let me tell you, it will change your life forever!!

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What is keeping you from working with your doctor to develop an exciting fitness regiment that works specifically for you? Oftentimes we think of gyms and machines when we think of fitness and exercise, but what if you think outside the box and add some spark? Ever thought of martial arts, MMA training, boxing training, mountain climbing, parkour, anti-gravity yoga, plyometrics training?  There are so many new and exciting fitness regimen that will not only break the cycle of boredom, but will also get you into that ripped physique you’ve always imagined!

3. Begin planning the business you always wanted to open

I have always believed that luck occurs when opportunity meets preparation.  And what better way to add some zest to your life than opening a business!  Or at least planning to open a business.

Even if you don’t have the capital right now, why not start planning?  Go online and begin preliminary investigations on your business.  How much will start up costs be?  Will you need permits?  If so, where and when will you need them?  Will you need to lease a building or office space?  If so, what location, price and square footage?  Will you need employees? What is your operating budget?  Have you conducted demographic studies?

Now if these plans don’t get you motivated I don’t know what will!  Imagine spending an entire year planning and preparing every detail of your business.  Before any entrepreneur goes into action, they must do the leg work and develop a well-developed business plan and that planning process might just be what the doctor ordered to break you out of your dull-drums!

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4. Start writing your autobiography

So you say you don’t have a story to tell?  You don’t think anyone would be interested? How do you know if you never try?

I can tell you some of my favorite blogs are those that tell the everyday stories of a person just like you! Maya Angelou said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings).  With that said…let that story out!  Sit down with pen and pad or grab your laptop and get to writing.  It is that simple.

Reminisce about about your childhood.  Think back to family vacations.  What about the neighborhood in which you grew up?  Remember the names of your friends growing up and the times you spent together. Before you know it, your jog down memory lane will come to life on paper and paint a picture of an experience that no one on this planet has ever experienced!  You may just discover that your life isn’t as boring as you think!

5. Take up an amazing new hobby like skydiving or scuba

Extreme sports are not for the faint-of-heart and are not recommended for everyone. But, can you think of a better way to add juice back to life than jumping from a perfectly functioning airplane? Or maybe diving with sharks on a shipwreck at 80 feet?

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I know several friends that have taken up some type of new hobby which acted as a jump-start for their life, making them feel alive again. Go online and see what excitement exists in extreme sports: rock climbing, skydiving, scuba, cycling, mountain biking, white water rafting, kayaking!  There are so many expedition companies whose experts are waiting to train you to experience a life lived on the edge.

Don’t be afraid, take the plunge today!

When all is said and done, life is about experiences.  And it is the lack of new and exciting experiences that kills our spirit as adults.  Life wants to compress you, stifle you and mold you.  But I say it is time for you to break free of this conformist thinking and get out onto the expressway of life and live!

Here’s the skinny: you may not all be able to work the job of your dreams, but you sure can live the life of your dreams!   The only question left: are you up to the challenge of changing your actions in order to get new and exciting results?

Featured photo credit: Alarm Clock/Phalinn Ooi via flickr.com

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Published on March 8, 2019

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

Think about your current workouts:

If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

    Meet Strong Stan

    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

    Meet Flexible Fiona

    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

      Final Thoughts

      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

      Reference

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