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5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

5 New Hobbies For the Creatively Restless

There is no escaping the fact that a lot of us are sleep-walking through many of our days like zombies. Work has become a grind that no longer inspires us quite like it used to and we have taken to falling into the refuge of the online versions of ourselves more and more often. This disconnection from our real self is simply not healthy.

The internet and social media offer us wonderful opportunities to grow and develop every day, but we cannot allow the virtual world to subsume who we really are. I know all of this is to be true because I feel it intensely myself. I think it’s time for us to all wake up a little and get back to who we really are. One of the easiest ways to start this transformation is by taking up some new hobbies.

There are a multitude of interesting new hobbies that you can try out. The following options will resonate with almost everybody. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, or simply somebody who feels at a loose end, taking up one of these new hobbies will bring back some creativity to your life.

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1. Writing

In my experience this is one of the new hobbies that many people often dream of doing, but for some reason never get around to. Friends who have told me they would love to write leave me perplexed, as surely this is one of the easiest things anybody could do. Perhaps the very process of writing is just such a personal one that some people find it daunting to take on. Others may dream of writing a beautiful poem, or an epic novel, but are blocked from doing so by the sheer fear of not being able to pull it off.

As a writer myself, I can promise you that it is one of the most rewarding and challenging hobbies that you could ever take up. The ability to relay your experiences into words is a wonderful feeling. It helps you better process and understand the world around you.

Writing is unique in that all you need to get started is a pen and some paper. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you need to know the rules of grammar, or to have read all of the classics, before you have a go at it for yourself. The best writing is always that which is the most honest. Whether you write a diary or a journal just for you, or you’re interested in getting into poetry or fiction, as long as you believe in what you are doing, you simply cannot go wrong.

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2. Meditation

Meditation is an interesting and perhaps controversial addition to this list as some would suggest it is not really a hobby. These people may be right, meditation is more than just a hobby, but one of the secrets of meditation is that it is really nothing more than about you learning to be happy and at one with yourself. In the context of why we’re looking for new hobbies in the first place, I believe this fact warrants its place on this list.

For those new to meditation, it can be a practice that can at first feel a little unusual. This is fine, meditation is indeed a little bit unusual, but that is also part of its beauty. You can approach meditation from a certain spiritual perspective and delve into the religion behind it. It is also something that you can just impulsively decide to introduce into your life all of a sudden. Just sitting alone in a quiet place is enough for you to get started. Just this very simple intention of dedicating a tiny part of your day to silence and contemplation can have a huge impact on your life.

3. Flower Arranging

Flower arranging is a great new hobby for the creatively restless. Not only does it allow you to employ your creative talents to make something beautiful, but it also lets you interact with nature at the same time. Most people love plants and flowers anyway, but these are usually one of those things that we often let drift by at the edge of our lives.

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Flower arranging might sound like one of those new hobbies that could end up hurting your pocket, but it does not need to be expensive. Over time you will learn more on how to get the most out of your favourite flowers and use them in ways you would have never thought possible before. Not only will flower arranging automatically brighten up your home, it will also help put a spring in your step as this practice is said to be highly therapeutic.

4. Calligraphy

If like me, you have a terrible handwriting, taking calligraphy up as one of your new hobbies could have more practical benefits than just passing time creatively. This may seem like one of the more complicated new hobbies to try your hand at, but it really isn’t all that different from writing. The main difference being that you are going to need to invest in a fancy nib, a nice pot of ink, and some higher quality paper.

Learning calligraphy may also sound a little bit more technical than the more usual hobbies, but a few quick web searches will soon have you directed towards a multitude of really useful instructional blogs and videos.

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5. Get Out Into Nature

Okay this one will probably apply mainly to city-dwellers, but it’s amazing just how much a lot of us insist on remaining confined to a very narrow physical space. Home, work, eat, drink, home, repeat. This is probably a pretty accurate picture of the majority, even those that actually live quite close to nature.

Getting out into nature is one of the most healthy new hobbies you can do and I guarantee you that no matter where you live, you will be amazed at just how much amazing nature there is within not much more than an hour’s journey time from your home. Taking advantage of the nature around is not just a physically healthy exercise. The complete disconnect that you feel once you’ve left your town or city behind will really give your emotions a boost and leave you feeling a lot more motivated to take on the week ahead.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.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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