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10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

10 Vintage Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Awesome

I love vintage stuff. Remember when everybody was wearing vintage sports jerseys?

Personally, the vintage sports phase was alright, but I didn’t start buying Brooklyn Dodgers stuff. That’s not really the vintage style I like. I like “old-school living” vintage. You know, a less technology way of life.

Here are ten ways to be awesome by incorporating a little vintage into your life:

1. Smoke a Pipe

I love a good cigar, but recently I’ve recognized the magic of smoking a tobacco pipe. It’s unique and it’s an art. Not only does it take time to learn how to light a tobacco pipe and get really good at it, it’s also an instrument that requires respect; you have to clean it and take care of it.

I’ve even thought people who want to quit smoking should invest in a pipe and smoke that way. Why? Well, every time they want a smoke they’d have to stuff it with tobacco, get it lit, keep it lit, then clean it afterwards. I bet it would prevent many smokers from smoking so much.

To be clear, I don’t puff on my tobacco pipe on a regular basis. I just like smoking my pipe whenever the mood hits. (is there a way to not make that sound sexual in any way? Get your mind out of the gutter folks)

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2. Read a Novel from Before 1950

Read some old literature—the good stuff. The early 1900’s produced a great amount of quality fiction; Ask The Dust, by John Fante, For Whom The Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, to name a very select few.

Schedule a night to turn off your television, your phone, your computer, and anything else that will distract you. Set aside 2-3 hours and just sit with a cup of tea, if you’d like, and read a book. It might feel like you’re “wasting” time, but you aren’t. Forget about the latest Tweet or Facebook post; get lost in a good book—it’s an awesome thing to do.

3. Take a Long Walk As Your Exercise for the Day

We are fitness obsessed. It’s all about insane workouts and making sure you jam enough protein down your gullet. Here’s a wild idea: go for a walk; a long one. Don’t plug your ears with music either—listen to the sounds surrounding. Be in touch with the world, connect to it.

A long walk is not only good for the heart, it’s good for the mind. Breathe deeply while you walk, make each step purposeful. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine, be present in the moment of walking. It’s mind freeing.

4. Have a Bath

We are so rush-rush these days it’s hard to find time to get everything done, let alone relax. Taking 15 minutes to pour yourself a hot bath at night, however, can do wonders for your mental and physical health. It helps with blood circulation and can help you get a night of beautiful deep sleep. Mentally it will help you, well, relax. In this day and age, that’s critical.

5. Write a Letter to a Loved One By Hand (Bonus Points On a Typewriter)

It’s so easy to send a quick text or an email to someone, and rarely do they mean anything. What does mean something, however, is a hand written letter. Why? Because you have to the take time to write it out, fold it, place it in an envelope, and walk it down to a mailbox. That sounds rather simple, but when’s the last time you’ve done it?

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Letters have meaning. Do meaningful things for people. It can change their world, and yours.

Write a letter to a loved one today. My grandpa and I have been doing this for a couple years. It has developed a unique, deep connection between us that I cherish greatly.

6. Dress With Care When Going Out

I’m guilty of this more then I’d care to admit. Being a writer, it’s far too easy to run out the door wearing track pants and an old t-shirt. I don’t dress up for work because I don’t have too. That’s lazy.

Dressing up is a way to respect ourselves. Remember when people used to dress up to go to sporting events, or any event for that matter? No matter what you are doing in your day, take the time to put on some nice clothes and hit the town. Not only will you look impressive, but you’ll feel impressive.

7. Wash All Your Dishes By Hand

The invention of the dishwasher made cleaning up dinner so easy that, sometimes, I don’t do it until the next morning. When is the last time you washed every pot, plate, fork, and cup after dinner by hand? That’s what I thought.

Washing everything by hand allows you to take the time to just be with whomever you are washing with. And if you’re washing alone, it allows you time to be mindful and distracts you from rushing over to the television. As tempting as that television looks, you don’t need to watch it, remember that.

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8. Be Present With Each Other While Eating Dinner

Growing up, we had family dinners. We would all sit around the table and talk about our day. Now, for most families, those style dinners are for special events, only. It’s far too easy to plop down with the television on and watch the news while everybody is eating. I remember getting upset that dinner was at 5:15pm because The Simpsons were still on. In hindsight, The Simpsons have never helped me be a kinder and fuller human being, so family dinner should have taken priority.

Another failure at the dinner table is phone checking constantly for the latest tweet or “urgent” text message. It’s making us stupid. Put the phones away! Talk to each other. And if you don’t talk, sit in silence and respect the meal. Silence while together can be a powerful experience. In this noisy world we have become uncomfortable with silence. Embrace silence, be mindful, relaxed in its presence.

9. Play Cards for Date Night

Instead of having yet another movie date, why not play cards? You can even have fun creating your own card games or add fun stipulations for the winners or losers. Every time I make up card game rules it’s usually based around the goal of getting my wife naked, but I digress.

Playing cards can make conversation lively and entertaining.

With the stress of life, we constantly fall into mindless activities, when in truth, we should be doing mindful activities. It keeps us present, something many struggle with.

10. Listen to the Game On the Radio

Television has taken away the aura of sport. There is no more imagination. When we want to see the great diving catch of the day, we can. Yesterdays legends were created through people’s imaginations. Today, legends are almost non-existent because we get to see every success and failure with our own eyes, in high-definition.

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We only have little snips of video from the greats of yesterday. In our eyes, they’ve never made an error because we’ve never seen them make one. Whens the last time you saw video of Joe Dimaggio making an error? The games were created with vivid conversation and descriptions by the broadcasters. People dreamed of what the great play looked like. These men were built like kings, in our imagination. The game turned into a mystical experience.

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and listen to a baseball game on the radio. Create the game in your mind, make it your own experience.

This November, I’m only going to listen to hockey games on the radio. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Do you have any ideas that can be added to the list? Agree or disagree with anything?

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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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