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6 Productive Hobbies That Will Help You Release Stress and Relax

6 Productive Hobbies That Will Help You Release Stress and Relax

With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s hard to find time to fit things you want to do into your day. But hobbies are an important way to help you de-stress and gather yourself. There are lots of ways you can add a little relaxation — and some productivity — into your daily life. Here are six hobbies that will help you release stress.

1. Read Good Books

Reading is a great way not only to escape your daily stresses, but also to explore your interests. Nonfiction is just as much an escape as fiction if you use it to explore your passions. Pick a topic or two you want to know more about. Find out who the experts are, then hunt down their books and dig in. You’ll be de-stressing and broadening your mind at the same time. If traditional books don’t fit into your lifestyle or schedule, try audiobooks for added convenience. You can turn your daily commute into a chance to learn.

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2. Walk the Dogs

If you like animals and have a little spare time during your day, look into becoming a dog-walker. Even if you don’t have a pet, try finding a friend or neighbor who will let you take theirs out and reap the benefits. Dog-walking is a good cardiovascular exercise, allows you to connect with other pet-lovers, and lowers stress levels. You can turn all these benefits into money by finding people willing to pay for your services. Get a little exercise, hang out with some adorable dogs, and make some extra cash — it’s great all the way around!

3. Blog Your Way to a Paycheck

Blogs are like online journals; spaces where you can share your thoughts, interests, and experiences with other people all around the globe. These 21st century diaries allow you to vent your stresses, get advice on your problems, and connect with people who share your passions. Make this work for you by using your blog to spread the word about your skills and talents. You could even find a new job, and some companies may pay you to write reviews of their products on your blog. If you’re reading this article right now, that means you have internet of some sort. It takes little effort and time to blog, making it an easy way to make some extra dough. The more time you spend, naturally, the more money you will make. If you’re going to turn it into a full time job be sure to have a good internet connection so you don’t get slowed down. Many companies, like verizon internet, have bundle packages to make cable and internet as cheap as possible for you.

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4. Craft a Gift

Crafting has taken the world by storm in the last few years, with more than half of U.S families using their hands and imaginations to create. It’s easy to see why it’s become such a popular pastime. Creating is a great way to slow down a little, and getting lost in the details of a project can calm your mind after the stress of the day. Your handmade goods make great gifts for friends and family; you can even turn them into extra cash by selling them at craft fairs, flea markets, and websites.

5. Restore Cars

If you’re the type who finds peace under the hood of a car and you’re handy with tools, restoring cars is a hobby to look into. Classic cars are a specialty that requires hours of careful work and patience — perfect if you’re the type who enjoys working out the details of a project. This is a pricey hobby; cars and new parts don’t come cheap. But it can also be a very lucrative venture; many people will pay a pretty penny for a classic restored to mint condition.

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6. Bake Goodies

Baking, like crafting, requires attention to detail and careful preparation — perfect for those looking to take their minds off their stresses. Learning to make delicious cakes, breads, and cookies takes time and dedication, but the rewards are well worth it. You get to do something fun and relaxing, and you have the tasty results to enjoy afterwards. You can give your baked goods away as gifts, or even sell them at local farmers’ markets for extra cash. If you’re passionate enough, why not turn your hobby into a career and open your own bakery?

It’s important to take time out of every day to do things you enjoy, and many of your favorite hobbies can actually make you money or improve your quality of life.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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