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3 Reasons To Workout Today

3 Reasons To Workout Today

We all know the benefits of getting to the gym. It makes us leaner, stronger, and more energetic. It’s good for us. We all know that we should workout.

So, why is it that more often than not, we neglect to make it to the gym? I mean we know that all the benefits related to hitting the gym are positive, but for some reason, after a long day of work, sitting on the couch and watching Breaking Bad re-runs sounds like a better decision.

You see, the hardest part about working out, is taking that first step, and getting off the couch (or not sitting on the couch in the first place)

Once we’re in motion, we realize how much we over exaggerate how “hard” exercising is, and how much we underestimate the feel good benefits related to fitness.

You’ll almost always finish your workout in a better mood than you started. Most of the time you just need that first push to get you moving.

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So then, why should you workout today? It’s hard work, it’s time consuming, it makes you sweaty…….

It Makes You Happy

Have you ever heard of somebody that regretted a workout? There’s no doubt about the relationship between exercising and being awesome.

Countless studies show that exercise is known to improve moods, lower depression, boost self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your sleep quality. One study even suggested that high intensity exercise stimulates the brain the same way cocaine does [1].

When you put your body through intense exercise, your brain produces natural feel good chemicals called endorphins. They’re often described as “euphoric” and are also released during sex and laughter.

You’ll almost always walk  (or crawl) out of the gym in a better mood than you walked in.

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It Makes You Smart

Not exercising properly means less brain activity and less ability for you to achieve and succeed, in anything.

A study done on over 6,000 people showed that those with more fat experienced 22% more cognitive decline than those who were normal weight. That means being out of shape not only slows down how quickly you move, it slows down how quickly your brain works.

There’s no shortage of research that shows a positive connection between exercise and the brain.

Exercise accelerates our Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF is an important hormone that controls how we learn things and how much activity we have going on in our brains.

It’s often referred to as “Miracle-Gro for the brain” by Professors of Psychiatry at Harvard.

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It’s no wonder why a billionaire entrepreneur like Richard Branson claims his number one “secret” to productivity is exercise. He runs over 400 companies and exercises daily.

He’s also 63 years old. What was your excuse again?

It Makes You Sexy (duh)

At first, most of my clients come to me with aesthetic goals such as “rock hard abs” and “toned booties”. Looking great naked is a huge motivator, and a perfectly fine reason to work out.

But exercise makes us sexy in so many other ways.

It teaches us the process of achieving anything worthwhile in life:

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Goal Setting -> Planning -> Deadline -> Commitment -> Discipline -> Accomplishment -> Satisfaction -> Bigger Goal -> Repeat

By achieving our goals in the gym, we reinforce the idea that if we set a goal and work towards it, the outcome will be positive.

And just like that we’ve increased our sense of self-worth and built the rock solid confidence that’s needed to take on anything in our way and create the best life possible for ourselves.

At first, it’s easy to see this fitness thing as a chore. But it’s not just about burning calories or looking better naked (although those are very important).

It’s about a million perks that make your life better. It’s about loving yourself (but not in a narcissistic douche-bag kind of way).

Fitness is a celebration of a healthy body, and you should be celebrating everyday.

Featured photo credit: photopin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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