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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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