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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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