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6 Things You Can Do To Turn Your Life Around

6 Things You Can Do To Turn Your Life Around

Every now and then, we are hit with an unexpected roadblock on our path to success or a better life. Sometimes, we can overcome them, but other times, they hit us hard. Naturally, we have strong reactions to these failures, and the most common one is giving up. However, you shouldn’t give up so easily.

There is still a chance to lift yourself up from the ground and possibly turn your life around. The timeframe could be a few months, a year, or more – it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are once again satisfied and on the right track.

You might wonder how this turnaround is possible. The truth is that all you need is determination and a small push. You can start small, by changing your diet or turning off the TV. A tiny change now can become something bigger later in life. With that said, here are some ways you can start turning your life around.

1. Put an end to all toxic relationships

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    When I say relationship, I mean any kind of interpersonal relationship — with your parents, siblings, partners, or friends. Any toxic relationship is harmful for both you and the other party. Having to constantly fight with someone, or be surrounded by negativity, is pure damage to your system. No matter what the other person thinks or feels, you shouldn’t allow them to ruin your mood.

    Moreover, you shouldn’t let their negativity have any effect on you. The worst thing that could happen is for the relationship to turn mentally abusive. For example, if your friend doesn’t support or encourage you, then what is the point of being friends? If they are not on your side, they are not your friend.

    Just ask yourself what you want and need, and whether you are getting that from the relationship in question. If there is no space for your personal growth, then the best solution would be to end it. For once, put yourself first.

    2. Become physically active

    There are many advantages to working out. For starters, it will make you physically fit. You will feel energized, strong, and powerful. With each workout, your body will be pumped. You will be pumped mentally, too. When you feel the rush, you will want to exercise more and more. Furthermore, it boosts your mood and mental activity.

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    If you are constantly sitting at a desk, looking at a computer screen, and being inactive in general, your brain slowly starts to shut down. It seems like it is asleep. Your memory is bad, your thinking is slowed down, and your mind wanders. However, all this can be improved by simply working out. By changing your daily routine from stagnate to active, you can become more motivated to achieve your goals.

    3. Acquire a new skill

    Let’s imagine your career has fallen apart. You have been a teacher for most of your life, or an accountant, for example, and now you are jobless. There is no prospect for you in this industry anymore – so, what do you do? Well, probably the best (and maybe the craziest) solution would be to start over. This means learning a new set of skills from scratch.

    Whatever is in, at the moment, try and get into it. If designers or IT people are in demand, then you could learn a skill from that spectrum. Who knows what could happen; perhaps, in a year or so, you could find a better job.

    Building new skills is always a good idea. You could earn some extra money on the side, or use them in dire situations like the one mentioned above. Moreover, you will become more knowledgeable in general. Education should be your priority, even after finishing high school and university.

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    4. Change your diet plan

      Another way you might be exposing yourself to toxicity is through your diet. If you are hooked on fast food and other heavily processed products, you jeopardize both your physical and mental health. Poor food choices and lack of hydration could cause severe problems, such as a possible heart attack, breathing difficulties, and clotted arteries — to name a few. Plus, it could cause you to start losing confidence, happiness, and the will to be active.

      Consulting a nutritionist would be the first step towards turning a new page. They could give you advice on what type of food to eat and how much of it you need on a daily basis. Instead of eating burgers all the time, you could throw in some fish, which would be a great positive change in your diet plan. Luckily for you, it is easy to prepare and there are many types of delicious fish. Go on a tryout spree until you find the best-tasting fish. You should also stop consuming sodas and turn to water and organic juices. Sodas are filled with sugar and other additives, which don’t do your health any good.

      5. Cut your expenses and start saving some money

      If you are deep in the gutter, struggling to survive by the end of the month, then you are doing something wrong. The reason for this lack of funds is probably your unnecessary spending. If you want to save up some money, then you need to make a valid savings plan. This can help you in many different ways.

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      You could invest the money or save it for a rainy day. You could even go on a trip or two, if you learn how to be more frugal. The point is that having a backup stash of money is good. It could help you start your own business, move, or resolve any other problem. It could be a lifesaver and a life changer.

      6. Turn off the TV

      Do not confine yourself inside the walls of your house, sitting in front of the TV screen day and night. No matter how many hours you spend watching TV, it won’t teach you anything. You will not grow and develop if you continue like this. The advertisements, talk shows, reality stars, and all the rest, will not teach you anything. There is no value to what they are selling.

      You would be better off reading a book, going for a walk, or having lunch with friends. Even if there is a show or a movie you like on, you could always watch it online. The news and other important stuff could be followed through newspapers or online. The TV has become obsolete and you should move past it.

      It is safe to say that it doesn’t take much for you to turn your life around. By taking these baby steps, you will train yourself to be better and endure until your new life begins. Give it a try. You never know what could be waiting on the new page of your life — so be brave and turn it over.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yashna13/ via flickr.com

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      Vladimir Zivanovic

      CMO at MyCity-Web

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      Published on August 16, 2019

      15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

      15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

      When you choose the right exercises, and make strength training a priority, it will have a great payoff to improve your running. Studies have shown incorporating a strength training program to your running routine improves running economy.[1]

      Here are 15 strength training exercises specifically for runners.

      1. Planks

      The plank is a very important core exercise that will help give you more control and balance while running. Having a strong core will also keep you more stable and in control if you have to navigate uneven surfaces.

      The plank is a simple exercise and involved balancing on your forearms and the tips of your toes, so that your back is “straight as a plank”. You want to focus on keeping your abs tight and imagine sucking your belly button up into your spine to have them properly engaged.

      Aim for 30 to 45 seconds for a few rounds. Ultimately, you want to hold them as long as you can with proper form – so every time you perform a plank you want to go a little longer than previous ones.

      2. Side Planks

      The same concept is applied but you are now engaging your core in a different manner and engaging your oblique muscles too. This time, you are going to lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.

      You will lean on your right forearm and lift your hips off the ground keeping your head lined up with your torso and ankles. Keep your other hand on your hip to help ,and control balance, and focus on not moving or swaying. Keep your abs tight to engage them and hold for 30-45 seconds, or longer if you can.

      3. Clamshells

      For this exercise, you are going to need a simple resistance band. Start with the band wrapped around both legs just below the knee. Your starting position will be on the ground lying on your side with your top hip and shoulder pointing towards the ceiling. Your hips will be on the ground, keep your back straight and your feet together, and lift up with your top knee as far as you can with the resistance.

      Pause for a second at the top and lower back down under control. You can do 10 reps on this side before switching over and doing another 10 reps and aim for 2 to 3 sets.

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      Clamshells are going to help strengthen your abductor muscles giving you stronger hips and more stability while running.

      4. Single-Leg Bridge

      You will start lying on your back with your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart with knees bent. You will straighten out one leg so it’s out in front of you in the air and lift your body up by pushing with the leg on the ground.

      You want to flex your abs and glutes while pushing upward and try to keep your hips level throughout the motion before returning to the ground. You can also hold your body in the upright position for 5-10 seconds before returning to the ground to get more engagement before switching over to the other leg.

      The single-leg bridge will help strengthen your glutes which are crucial for running power and stride strength.

      5. Standing Calf Raises

      This is a simple exercise but one that is very important for strengthening the calves. The stronger they are, the less fatigue you will experience during running. You will need to find an elevated step or platform for this exercise.

      Stand on the platform with your heels hanging off the edge. Find something stable to hold on to for balance and start by lower your heels down until you feel a stretch in the back of your calves. Then, stand upwards like you are trying to see over a fence. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

      6. Arch Lifting

      You will start out standing with your feet directly under your hips, and this is best done without shoes. You will rotate the arch of your foot upward while keeping your toes and heels in contact with the ground.

      Don’t let your toes tighten and you want to hold for a few seconds at the top before returning to the ground. You can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and this is going to help strengthen the arches of your feet.

      The stronger your arches are the better it is to keep your running stride strong and prevent less fatigue in the feet.

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      7. Half-Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch

      Strong hips are paramount for running and the hip flexors can easily become strained and overused. This exercise will help to strengthen them and provide more power and stability while running. You will start kneeling with one foot forward and the other knee bent underneath the hip.

      Keep your abs tight, your back straight, and shift your body weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds before switching over to the other leg.

      8. Alternating Lunges

      These are going to develop power and strength in your quads and glutes to help give you a more powerful stride. You will start standing with your hands on your hips looking straight out in front of you.

      Step forward with your right leg and lower down just before your opposite knee touches the ground. Then, push through your heel to return to the standing position before performing the lunge with your left leg. Alternate between the right and left leg so that each one has done 10 reps and you can perform 3 sets of this.

      9. Jump Squats

      These can be done just with your bodyweight and help to develop explosive power in the lower body. The jump squat is handy for when you have to run hills and need more power for harder stretches of your run.

      The best way is to start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will drive through the heels of your feet and explode upwards. As your bodyweight brings you back to the ground, control your weight as you go back into the squat position to fully engage the muscles.

      Make sure not to let your knees move inwards and keep your abs tight, your head up, and your chest out. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.

      10. Skater Hops

      This will help to build leg and core strength, along with improving balance. You will start standing upright but then bending the knees slight like you’re about to sit down. You will then drive off your right foot, jumping a few feet out to the left.

      You will land on your left foot while your right foot swings behind your left leg. Then, drive off the left foot using the momentum of your right foot swinging back to land back on it. You will keep doing these side hops for ten times each leg and the motion should look like a speed skater shifting side to side.

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      11. Bulgarian Split Squat

      This will be similar to the lunges but, will really ramp up the resistance for the quads and is a great strength training exercise for runners. You are going to need an elevated surface or bench to stand in front of. The starting position will be standing upright with your head up and hands on your hips.

      Start with your right foot behind you supported by the bench. You will start by lowering your hips to drops your left leg down to around a 90-degree angle, stopping just before your right knee hits the ground.

      Next, push up through the heel until you are back at the starting position and perform ten reps, under control, before you switch over to the right leg. Perform 3 sets of this.

      To make this even tougher, you can hold dumbbells in your hands hanging at your sides.

      12. Arabesque

      These will help in activating and controlling your hips. You will start off by standing on one leg, hands on your hips, and making sure your hips are level and balanced. You can then put your arms out to the side to give you more balance.

      Start by tipping your torso forward as your non-weight-bearing leg extends out behind you. You can slightly bend your knee to help with control and you want to have your back and extended leg as level as possible. You should end up basically parallel to the floor with your shoulder, hip, and ankle should be in a straight line.

      When you’ve gone as far forward as you can, return to the starting position and perform 8 repetitions before switching to the other leg.

      Perform 2 to 3 sets. These are all about quality over quantity so if you can only do 4 or 5, that’s fine.

      13. Hip Bridge

      This is another great exercise to target the glutes which are the source of your running power. Start by lying on the ground with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling.

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      Your hips, knees, and shoulders should be in a straight line. Hold at the top for a second and then lower back down under control. Perform this 12 times and then, you can do 3 sets. If these get easier, you can hold a weight across your stomach for more resistance.

      14. Push-Ups

      A classic exercise, and for good reason. As much as you want to focus your strength training on the lower body, you can’t neglect your upper body. Your arms are helping drive and propel you while running and a strong upper body helps with your overall balance and stability.

      You can start laying facedown on the ground with your palms facing downwards and elbows tucked into your sides. Focus on pushing through the heel of your palms upward, stopping just before your elbows lock out. Lower back down under control and stop just before your chest touches the ground.

      Focus on keeping the elbows tucked into your side and avoid having them flail outwards. You can perform 10 reps for 3 sets of these.

      15. Squat to Overhead Press

      This is a full-body motion that works a majority of muscles, builds power, explosiveness, and coordination. You will need two dumbbells and you will start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, with the dumbbells, held up by your shoulders – palms facing forward.

      Send your hips back and lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you stand up, press the dumbbells overhead and return them to the starting position. Go for 10 reps and three sets.

      The Bottom Line

      As much as you’d like to, you can’t be running all the time. It can lead to overuse, injuries and burnout. The perfect way to offset this is with strength training, making sure you perform your training with proper form and technique, avoiding mistakes which can lead to injury.

      There are many other strength exercises such as the deadlift, which works the back and leg muscles which are vital for running economy improvement and injury prevention.[2] These exercises will make you a more efficient and resilient runner allowing you to improve your distances and times.

      Even if you’ve been against strength training for runners, you can see now how it’s necessary in order to improve your overall running ability and performance.

      Featured photo credit: Stage 7 Photography via unsplash.com

      Reference

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