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4 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Hard to Break

4 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Hard to Break

It’s 2017 – what’s your New Year’s resolution? If you’re looking to change your life for the better with a great New Year’s resolution, the National Institutes of Health advises you not to make outrageous and unrealistic resolutions. They recommend you either make a smaller goal (e.g. losing 5 pounds instead of 30 pounds) or include small goals into your resolution to keep you motivated (e.g. losing 30 pounds by next December by losing 5 pounds in the next three months).

Here are a few fun New Years resolutions that won’t be too hard to keep and will improve your life:

1. Try an Exotic New Sport

If your goal is to get more active, it’s a lot easier if your New Year’s resolution is to try a really fun, new sport. Trying something new and exotic will pique your curiosity and interest, which helps you stick to playing the sport and keeping your resolution.

Here are some exciting exotic sports that should keep you thrilled and playing regularly:

Freerunning

Freerunning, which is officially known as Parkour, is one of the most epic activities you can commit to. Remember TV superheroes, like Daredevil and the Green Arrow? Their stunts are the epitome of this sport!

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This sport is the extreme version of obstacle course racing – almost all the obstacle courses are buildings! You’re daringly vaulting across building ledges to nearby ledges or wall jumping onto a building’s metal grill, which you climb up only to leap off of to latch onto another building’s fixture. It’s really an official sport – with many universities having Parkour clubs and organizations, like Champlain’s Parkour Club, UGA’s Parkour, and UConn’s Husky Pack Parkour.

3D Dodgeball

This is regular dodgeball, except you’re playing in an arena where the floor and walls are a series of trampolines! This allows both you and your opponents to pull off cinema-like jukes and plays as you strategically throw yourself into a wall trampoline to both dodge an incoming ball and launch yourself towards your opponent for your own attack!

Salsa dancing

Salsa dancing is fun and is pretty much like going clubbing for your workout. You’ll meet new people and literally have fun dancing with them. It’s not just dancing – according to the University of Florida, it’s a vigorous cardio exercise that makes you burn up to 420 calories in just 60 minutes!

If your New Year’s resolution is sticking to one of these action-packed sports, you’ll enjoy your resolution instead of treating it like a chore.

2. Get a New Look by Growing a Stylish Beard

Do you want to look different in 2017 than you did in 2016? Growing facial hair makes a big difference. Experts say the kind of facial hair you have can drastically change how people perceive your intellect, attraction, and dominance:

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If you have a full beard, most females told researchers they thought it looked most aggressive and masculine. But they also said they thought it looked more socially mature and intelligent. The downside is they said bearers of full beards look older – but maybe that’s what you want to go for in 2017!

If you have a light beard, you’ll look more like a leader. Females told researchers that light beards looked most dominant.

If you have a light stubble, you’re probably popular with women! Females told researchers that they preferred light stubbles for long- and short-term relationships and found them most attractive.

There you have it – growing a new style of facial hair can instantly change your social status in 2017. If you’re eager to get your new beard, try natural ways to grow healthier facial hair, like upping your hair-nourishing B vitamin intake. Boosting your protein intake also helps, since your body needs mostly protein to grow hair, but choose clean vegetable protein sources, like tofu, nuts, and mushrooms, instead of cancer-causing red meats.

3. Be Healthier

Making a New Year’s resolution to be healthier for 2017 doesn’t have to mean more exercise and going vegan. There are easier ways to be healthier that make it easier to keep your resolution. Taking daily supplements is one very easy way to be healthier. All you do is take one or more capsules once a day – it only takes seconds of your time, but gives your health an enormous boost!

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Here are some you can choose from:

Branched-chain amino acid supplements (BCAAs)

Your body needs branched-chain amino acids everyday for its daily processes. You get them naturally from foods, but researchers found that supplementing with concentrated BCAAs prevents muscle damage and muscle loss during intense exercise. They also boost your immunity, especially if you’re recovering from surgery. They’ll also help you fight addiction urges – alcohol detox centers often include BCAAs in their patients’ treatment regimens because they’ve been found to help with recovery.

Two Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts aren’t supplements, but eating two daily has been found to boost your body’s selenium levels more effectively than selenium supplements. Selenium is rare in foods, but is important for your immune system.

Selenium also fights harmful free radicals and neutralizes mercury you ingest from seafood. Eating nuts isn’t that big of a leap from taking supplements – instead of popping a pill, chew on two Brazil nuts. Unlike selenium supplements, brazil nuts are also rich in essential fatty acids and protein.

4. Get Rid of Expensive Cable

If you’re still subscribing to cable or satellite television, you might want to consider stopping. The internet is swallowing up everything – it’s just part of modernization. People are moving from landlines to cellphones and VOIP services for their telecommunications needs. The same is true for television services — People are streaming more and watching regular cable TV less.

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Cable and satellite TV plans are costly compared to $9 per month for Netflix or Hulu, which now regularly streams currently airing shows – so it’s almost like watching live television, but without commercials!

Netflix Alternatives

If you’re not a fan of Netflix, you can try Netflix alternatives, like Cloudload and Amazon Prime.

Streaming

Streaming is also more versatile than cable or satellite because you can watch what you want when you want to without having to schedule recordings or prerecord anything. You can also take your subscription with you! You can bring your tablet or portable streaming device with you on vacation and hook it up to any TV and start streaming like you’re at home.

You’ll also get more for your buck. Streaming subscriptions usually have a bigger selection of movies and shows than cable or satellite – Netflix has shows dating back from the 1940s and older!

Of course, it all depends on your internet capabilities. Streaming is cheap because it uses your internet as the provider, unlike cable and satellite. If your geographical area or personal situation doesn’t allow for fast internet, then streaming might not be right for you.

Experts say the key to keeping your New Year’s resolution is choosing an easier one. Try these fun, healthy resolutions and you’ll have a better chance of staying true to your 2017 resolution!

Featured photo credit: rory3822 via pixabay.com

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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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