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5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

No matter how mild the winter, spring always brings a welcome improvement to the weather. Before you know it, areas that were, just weeks earlier, covered in snow and barren trees are full of lush greenery and flora.

Though we humans don’t hibernate throughout the cold months of the year, many of us use winter as a sort of “downtime,” during which we stay indoors as much as possible. When spring arrives, we emerge from our warm nests, ready to finally enjoy our surroundings yet again.

The following is a list of ways in which you can maximize your enjoyment of nature during the season when the Earth regains its liveliness.

Prepare Your Yard

You most likely don’t take much care of your yard during the cold, wet, winter months — and that’s fine. But when the spring rolls around, you’ll need to do some work to make it look presentable again.

If you didn’t rake your lawn before the last snowfall of the year, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of unsightly leaves that never ended up decomposing. While a lawn full of leaves probably didn’t stand out in November, it certainly will in April and May. Take care of them as soon as possible.

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If need be, plant grass seed throughout your lawn to patch up any areas that need it. Remove any weeds, sticks, and brambles from your garden, and replant annuals as needed.

Finally, break out the grill, hammock, and anything else you know you’ll be using throughout the spring and summer months. It might not be warm enough to use them right away, but you’ll be prepared to do so when the sun finally peeks out.

Prepare Your Home

Everyone knows about spring cleaning, right?

As mentioned above, you may have gone through a period of downtime throughout the winter months, during which you might have allowed your home to get a little, well, messy.

Take some time to dust off surfaces, clean out closets, and air the rest of your home out. Just getting some fresh air circulating throughout your house can improve your health and elevate your mood.

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As you move things around to dust and sweep, you might realize you have a ton of miscellaneous items around the house that you never really use. Instead of tossing them back into the closet to collect even more dust, consider having a yard sale. You’ll end up with a little extra change in your pocket as well as some extra space in your home.

Have BBQs and Picnics

The first day that the weather is nice enough to eat outside is always a cause for celebration. There’s just something about eating outside that makes certain foods taste better.

Whether you’re having a small party with friends and family or a nice quiet lunch with your loved one, you’ll have a to do a bit of preparation. Make sure you have all the utensils and cutlery you need to cook and eat your delicious meal, as well as napkins or paper towels to clean up afterward.

Also, make sure you have some citronella candles and bug spray handy. Nothing ruins a potato salad quite like a swarm of mosquitos.

Lastly, bring some warm clothes just in case it gets a little chilly. It might be 85 degrees in the sun, but if clouds start to roll in, the temperature can drop quickly.

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Get Up and Out

Obviously, the springtime is a great time to enjoy some outdoor activities. You wouldn’t play baseball in the house, would you?

Even if you don’t need to be outside to partake in an activity, you should still get up and get out. Take your laptop or book outside instead of staying cooped up in the house all day. Bring your guitar outside and let the neighborhood hear you as you practice. Paint a picture of your surroundings or take photographs of the blooming flowers.

We simply weren’t meant to spend our life inside. Get out and enjoy yourself.

Get Dirty

Just as we weren’t meant to stick around indoors all our lives, we also weren’t meant to be pristinely clean all the time, either.

Most of the items on this list require you to forget all about cleanliness, at least for a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and not care about how ridiculous you look.

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Throw on an old pair of jeans and start a garden. Play catch with your nephew. Eat with your fingers and wipe it on your shirt.

The spring is not only a time of rebirth, but it’s also the perfect time to forget all your worries for a little while and remember what it was like to be as carefree as a kid. Don’t let it slip away.

Featured photo credit: Declan Rex via unsplash.com

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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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