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5 Things You Need To Stop Comparing To Lead A Better Life

5 Things You Need To Stop Comparing To Lead A Better Life

We all do it. We look at someone and instantly compare how we measure up. This is done so often and quickly that we may not even realize we are doing it. Whether we realize it or not, it affects us. By constantly feeling that we don’t measure up, we affect our confidence which affects how we deal with everyone else in the world. Here are 5 things you need to stop comparing to lead a better life.

Keeping up with the Jones’ Can Get You Into Debt.

Whether it’s a neighbor, a friend, or someone you wish you were friends with, everyone knows someone who seems to have the latest and greatest thing. Maybe it’s a car, tablet, phone, fitness gadget, or clothes. Some people feel pressure to keep up whether or not they can afford it. Perhaps your friend is excited about her new phone and asks when you are getting one. Or maybe you feel pressure to have the latest fashion for work so you feel up to date and more desirable to clients.

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In some cases you really do need to spend some money on new things. There are many ways to keep the spending under control though. You can shop in high end consignment shops, choose items that look like they are from top designers but aren’t, and look for sales. It’s not necessary to pay top dollar. It doesn’t make you seem any better just because you spent an extra $50 on a blouse.

In other cases you really don’t need to spend the money on stuff. If you spend what you cannot afford, you are adding stress to your life. Save the money you might have wastefully spent. Less stress equals a better life!

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Feeling Down About Your Body Makes You Look Bad.

Here’s a secret. No matter what you look like, if you exude confidence then you are instantly more attractive. By confident I don’t mean arrogant. Being confident, happy and yet humble override any physical attribute. That includes the people who are perceived as pretty or handsome. If they have a bad attitude, they instantly become unattractive.

You are a beautiful human being with so much to share with the world. Life is too short not to experience as much as possible. Go out, be happy, and have fun!

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Being The Head of a Company Doesn’t Make You a Better Person.

Some people judge their worthiness, as well as other people’s, by the rank of their employment. They chase perceived greatness while missing out on so much around them. I’ve seen some of my friends climb the corporate ladder in exchange for time with their kids, friends, family, and health. I’ve seen them get sick due to stress and not looking after themselves properly. On the other side of the fence, some of my friends have been confident in what they need to be happy. It usually isn’t very much. They have time for tea with friends, and work in jobs that have a lot of personal satisfaction. They are happy and healthy!

Butterflies vs Wall Flowers:  Both Have Great Qualities!

Social butterflies seem to be the life of the party. Wall Flowers have deep, meaningful relationships. These are generalities, of course. Some people can be social butterflies and also have deep, meaningful relationships. Some wall flowers can be brought out of their shell in the right setting. The point is, both qualities are great! Be confident in who you are. You might start off as an awkward, shy little kid and eventually surprise yourself as you grow into a confident, somewhat outgoing adult. That is how I would describe myself. Having had the pleasure of experiencing both sides, over the course of my 40+ years, has been enriching. I always considered myself extremely shy and wished I could be outgoing and not care so much about what people think. My friends never considered me shy at all! How interesting! Once I stopped caring about what people might think of me, I felt liberated and free to be me!

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Everyone Else’s Family Seems so Normal.

Growing up watching family television shows planted a seed in our minds as to what is normal.  Every generation had its shows.  There was ‘Leave It To Beaver’, ‘Little House On The Prairie’, etc.  Every kid started comparing their family life to what they saw on TV and we felt something was wrong or missing in our families.  It’s too bad because the truth is that there is no normal.  Every family has its issues whether they are openly visible or not.

Stop Comparing. Celebrate the differences. Liberate yourself and lead a better life!

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Jennifer Wasylenko

Exercise Physiologist, ACSM

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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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