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Into the Wild: 5 Outdoor Activities to Shake Up Your Sedentary Lifestyle

Into the Wild: 5 Outdoor Activities to Shake Up Your Sedentary Lifestyle

Being a working family man is great, but it is also challenging.

Trying to balance the time between jobs and loved ones can be exhausting, both mentally and physically, and a lot of us are not strangers to this. With time passing by, people usually have certain routines and habits engraved deep into their brains, and more often than not, those habits are bad. The workdays are the same: work-eat-sleep, while weekends and free time fall victim to your laziness and sedentary lifestyle, dragging away any chance of excitement, joy, and thrills of life. In the long run, living like this reduces the quality of your life and causes unhappiness, and further down the road, disease.

So what can you do? I believe that the best possible solution is going into the wild and connecting with nature. It will refresh and challenge you, and science has proven that spending time in a natural environment is vital to our well-being. Below, I have prepared a list of outdoor activities that are perfect options for someone like you. Some are more, some are less physically demanding, and it’s up to you to choose. One thing is for sure – none of them will leave you disappointed.

1. White water rafting

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    If you are the type who prefers dynamic, fast and crazy sports, then there is hardly a better option than white water rafting. For those lucky enough to live close to mountainous areas, it should not be difficult to find a rafting club, and there is no valid excuse not to try it. It will give you the opportunity to de-stress in a unique way.

    The quick waters and fast sections of the rafting tour will require focus and take a lot of energy to cross; the more calm parts will enable you to enjoy the surrounding views and unwind.

    One of the advantages of this sport is that it is a group activity, meaning that you can do it with your friends or your family. This can be a wonderful bonding experience, and will increase your satisfaction in life much more.

    2. Bow hunting

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      Some would say that this is the “manliest” thing to do out there, but it is not the reason why I chose this activity. Hunting is one of the primal human means of survival, but it has been made obsolete by modern society. When you go to the wilderness searching for prey, you connect to something deeper within you that has been neglected for generations, and it is a life-changing feeling. There are a few reasons why I recommend bow hunting over using rifles.

      First, it requires some strength to wield a bow, and when you combine that with all the hiking, it will make your hunt a brutal workout. Second, it is fairer to the animals. Bow hunting requires a lot of skill, and the reach of the arrows is shorter than guns, so you will have to step your game up to be able to hunt something. Lastly, it is more fun, so get the best compound bow for yourself, step outside, and discover your ancestral nature.

      3. Kayaking

        Kayaking

        is ideal for all those people who like relaxing and spending their spare time alone, or anyone looking for solitude. If you are one of those individuals, and you have never done this, it is time to give it a shot. The good news is that basic kayaking skills can be learned within a day, and from then on, you are good to go.

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        Of course first, you need to acquire all the necessary equipment. The convenient thing about this sport is that you don’t need to travel far just to reach a river or stream (this a good option of course), but you can also do it in channels running through your town or city. When it comes to physicality, the upper body will do all the work, and you will see significant increases in strength and cardiovascular endurance. What’s not to love here?

        4. Camping

          Need some time away from society? Try camping. Is there anything better than escaping into the woods for a day or two? The answer to this question depends on what kind of person you are, but I am sure that it is hard not to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Ultimately, camping is about relaxing, completely unwinding, and forgetting the fast pace of your everyday life. It doesn’t require any physical fitness, and you don’t have to be an exercise enthusiast to do it, but in the end, your muscles will get worked, and you will benefit from it.

          Most of all, this kind of activity offers great chances for socializing with others, whether it be your family or friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to prepare and eat some great food. Spending the evening by the campfire is a unique, unmatched, chill-out experience, and it will prepare you for the good night’s sleep that only nature can offer.

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          5. Rock climbing

            Without a doubt, this is one of the most difficult activities on this list. It requires a pretty high level of physical fitness since it fires up pretty much every muscle in your body. On the mental side, there can be other challenges; talk to some professionals and try out the sport with their guidance. This is an excellent mood and health-improving, as well as a unique, mind-toughening sport, that will make you meet some of your demons, and hopefully, overcome them.

            What do you choose?

            All in all, each of these activities differs greatly, and it is up to you to try them out and see which one is optimal for yourself. Let this article be an inspiration for all those who want to change their life for the better. And don’t stop here; research more, and maybe you will find something else to do. Just make sure that it helps you keep fit and happy, because there’s nothing in life more valuable than that.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

            Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

            Video Summary

            Why is it important to train up our core strength?

            There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

            This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

            Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

            In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

            One Exercise, multiple benefits

            There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

            By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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            When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

            Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

            In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

            What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

            What will happen when you start doing planks every day

              1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

              Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

              • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
              • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
              • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
              • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

              2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                  Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                  4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                    5. You’ll improve overall balance

                      Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                      6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                        Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                        7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                          Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                          How to hold a plank position

                          1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                          2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                          3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                          4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                          5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                          6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                          7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                          Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                          Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                            How to improve your plank time gradually

                            1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                            2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                            3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                            Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                            Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                            You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                            • Prolapse
                            • After prolapse surgery
                            • Pelvic pain conditions
                            • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                            • Previous childbirth
                            • Overweight

                            Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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