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6 Warning Signs You’re going to End up a Crippled Person at Old Age and How to Prevent It

6 Warning Signs You’re going to End up a Crippled Person at Old Age and How to Prevent It

Admit it. Exercising is a drag. You’ve always hated the feeling of getting ready and preparing your mind and body for something you call a “chore” more than anything else. You would rather dedicate your precious time counting the strands of hair on your scalp.

So you go in, you do what you think is “right” which is exercise, but still your mind wanders, your thoughts are floating around looking for a valid reason as to why you should continue to exercise. And nothing. The motivation starts fading away faster than that last bit of sitting water in a scorching desert. The only thing you’ve gained lately is depression with trying to get over the hump.

You go into a downward spiral and start making bad diet choices, have low energy, and put yourself in a worse situation than where you started from. Think you need a personal trainer beside you to smack you with motivational lines?

Don’t bother. Once you understand how your health is at stake if you don’t exercise regularly, you’ll easily do an about-face and appreciate every ounce of sweat you pour out. This could be all the motivation you need to get up, get moving, and finally working out to reverse these warning signs.

1. You’re Getting Stupider Everyday

The mind is a terrible thing to waste. And yet do you go above and beyond to protect it? You might find yourself feeling that you’re not sharp enough, not thinking critically, or in a problem solving manner. Or maybe you find it difficult to learn and memorize at times.

Thinking critical, problem solving and memorizing are all areas that can be compromised from a functional standpoint of your brain. And proper nutrition and sleeping aren’t a sure bet to help you protect your brain. But can exercise help prevent all problems that can possibly be damaging?

Well, according to The Society for Neuroscience in Brazil, researchers ran a study on how the levels of brain activity respond to exercising and weight training.

Results showed that subjects that were on a training regimen performed better on tests of learning and memory, as opposed to subjects that were sedentary.

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Simply put, the higher the workload and the more rigorous the training program the subjects had to manage, the more brain plasticity was produced within their brains. This increase of plasticity is caused by neurotropic factors, these factors promote the initial growth and development of neurons in your central nervous system and peripheral systemThese same factors and neurons keep the nervous system sharp and on point in transmitting the messages to and from the brain.

The nervous system is extremely crucial – it is a network that relays messages back and forth from different parts of the body. Without these proper functions, the onset of brain fatigue, a decline in processing information, and comprehension could arise. The human brain is extremely complex, but also extremely vulnerable. Exercise can help you revitalize and keep these parts sharp.

Factoring the benefit that exercise has on the brain is outstanding and should help keep your brain where it needs to be: both processing and functioning more effectively than your own home computer. But, more importantly, a healthy and strong brain can help ward off depression, boost your happiness and make a workout session that much more enjoyable.

2. You Are Aging Faster Than You Thought

Do you long to return to your youthful days? Or better yet, just to arrest the effects of aging? Well stress can damage your body and is also be known as “the silent killer”.

With that, below are a few consequences of stress:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Constricted Blood Vessels
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • And cell damage, which has been linked to Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer

The amount of stress you absorb can dictate how you age. One of the best remedies against aging is, yes you guessed it, exercise.

We now know that a quick 30-45 minute session of exercise can increase levels of your feel-good hormones like, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The hormones that are notorious for helping you deal with stress.

But here’s the kicker: not only has research helped us confirm that exercise helps block stress, but research from Princeton University found that physical activity reorganizes the brain and helped reduce its response to stress.

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In addition, anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. Physical activity in particular produces a large increase in the number of new neurons in the hippocampus. This region in the brain has been shown to regulate anxiety.

You deserve to be feeling your best, even exercising at least 30 minutes can ignite the “feel-good” hormones your body needs to help ward off stress and keep those ageless years in front of you. Your body will thank you.

3. You’re Sure that You’re Going to End Up Living in an Alzheimer’s Unit

Here’s something you should know: The Hippocampus is an important component of the brain in humans. It plays critical roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation.

Unfortunately, without stimulating this area with exercise, it is one of the first regions susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects millions of people each year but it is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age.

A fascinating piece of research from Dutch researchers found that inactive people who were in fact genetically prone to Alzheimer’s were four times more likely to develop the disease than those who carried the trait but worked out regularly.

This proves that exercise helps stimulates even the most vital of places with a great payoff for your future in overall brain function and health. Remember that a disease that affects a vast majority of the population is not a disease to take lightly, just like an exposed grape from its vine, the brain can also deteriorate.

4. You’re Afraid That You’ll Get Cancer

It is extremely difficult to experience or even fathom the thought of cancer. While it can be frightening to know of the consequences that arise from cancer, exercise can help in preventive care.

To start, regular exercise can prevent obesity, which is linked to many types of cancer. Obesity has an effect on:

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  • Estrogen – producing too much of estrogen contributes to many forms of cancer, such as breast cancer
  • Insulin – excessive insulin can possibly lead to the overproduction of cells, which can result into cancer.

If that’s not enough, another benefit of being physically active is that it can help boost your body’s immune system and how it responds in reducing inflammation, which in turn helps your own body fight the development of cancer.

But how much time should you dedicate to working out?  Well according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a recommended of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, and 60 minutes of daily activity is even more beneficial.

Anything that gets your heart beating more quickly and makes you breathe more deeply can count as moderate exercise and help you create a great defense against cancer.

5. You Don’t Know How to Strengthen Your Heart

Now do you know what the top leading cause of death in the United States is? Heart disease. There’s no other disease in the United States that kills more Americans than Heart Disease. But there is relieving news revolved around the benefits for cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention.

A captivating study by Scott R. Collier, Ph.D., of Appalachian State University, the research measured blood vessels and how it widened in response to an increased blood flow from exercising and how it can lead to a longer-lasting drop in high blood pressure after exercise, a contributor to heart disease.

The results support previous studies reporting which stated that exercise has an effect on arterial stiffness, high blood pressure and limb blood flow. With the rate of deaths correlating with heart disease, this is not a matter to take lightly. A heart attack sometimes doesn’t give second chances and one can put you six-feet deep.

Now ask yourself, why take the risk? Why not tackle this epidemic now? Exercise is your savior for this deadly disease, now get up and zap it away with 10 reps!

6. You’re Not Aware of How To Prevent the Constant Pain of Athritis

More than 21 million Americans suffer from arthritis, a disease that practically immobilizes individuals.

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Many traits or risk factors are associated with arthritis, below are the most common:

  • Obesity: Being overweight puts extra stress on your joints, which then increases wear and tear, and increases the risk of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
  • Age: As we get older, the risk of developing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, will increase.
  • Gender: In general, arthritis occurs more frequently in women than in men.
  • Other factors: Some jobs that require heavy lifting without proper technique or form can stress the joints and/or cause an injury, which can lead to arthritis.

But, it still can affect practically anyone at any time. The onset of pain is one that can lingers and affects you permanently. And if addressed to late, would need to be addressed by surgery or waived with other drastic alternatives.

However, great news from Tufts University on arthritis: There was a program was conducted with exercise on patients with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. After the sixteen-week program, the patients confirmed a 43% decrease in pain, an increase in muscle strength and general physical performance.

This is because, exercise will supplement muscle strength and help by protecting joints from the surrounding muscle that are worked on in that area. For example, squats and deadlifts focus greatly on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. The muscles that surround the knee joint then help protect the joint (medial and lateral meniscus, anterior and posterior ligaments, along with others).

Your biggest fight against joint pain is exercise. This might not have enough value to you unless its too late and those areas are affected and it becomes a greater issue later on. Help by exercising now, you’ll protect and help lubricate your joints, your body will thank you later.

So start exercising now because you only have one life to live. Now go out there and make it count.

Featured photo credit: CC0 Public Domain via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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