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7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

Although the hobbit lifestyle may seem a bit indulgent at first glance, it’s actually laced with many healthy habits that we could learn a lesson or two from. I know you’re probably smirking right now, picturing one of the many scenes in which hobbits stuff their faces like there’s no tomorrow (my personal favourite is Merry, Pippin and the floating turkey at Orthanc), but holster those images for a moment. Aside from their eating, drinking and smoking habits, hobbits are actually very good at maintaining physical and mental health. They often live to over a hundred years old and radiate a seemingly never-ending contentment. They’re clearly doing something right.

Here are seven healthy hobbit habits that you should be practicing:

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1. Spend time in nature

Hobbits value the natural world. They can spend days wandering through the fields of the Shire or relaxing under trees. They have a true appreciation for the earth, so much so that they actually build their homes in it. Connecting with nature on a regular basis is a very healthy thing to do. In addition to the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine, interaction with the natural world can increase creative thinking and feelings of well being. So next time you have a break at work, take a walk through the park or even just step outside and take a breath of fresh air. It will do you good.

2. Graze throughout the day

Nutritionists generally agree that eating regularly with fewer hours between meals is healthier than than eating two or three large meals throughout the day. Hobbits employ this practice, eating seven meals per day, but they skip the most important part: restraint. Eating less, more often is a healthy strategy, as long as you ensure you eat well balanced meals (don’t graze on snack foods), and actually eat less. So in this case, it’s good to eat with a similar frequency as hobbits, but certainly not the same amounts.

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3. Relax

Taking time to unwind from stressful events can have a profound impact on both physical and mental health. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease, impair memory, and kill brain cells. Hobbits are experts at relaxation, often spending days reading or resting on the porch. During the busy weeks, it may seem difficult to find time to relax, but it’s these times that it’s most important to do so. If it’s exam season or you’re anxious about a heavy workload at your job, a stressed mindset will only cloud your judgement and decision making abilities. Making time for relaxation will benefit your health as well as your performance.

4. Eat mushrooms

Hobbits have a great passion for mushrooms — a well founded one, evidently. A central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet, mushrooms have been found to boost the immune system and kick-start metabolism. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which fight the build-up of free radicals in the body.

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5. Spend time with friends and family

Humans are naturally social creatures. Throughout our evolution, we lived and traveled in groups, and thus, evolved to rely on and crave relationships with other people. Spending time with friends and family is essential for happiness. Perhaps hobbits evolved under similar circumstances, because one of the things they hold most dear is time with loved ones. Whether they’re meeting up for ale at the Green Dragon or simply chatting under the stars while blowing smoke rings (or boats, if you’re Gandalf), they always make time for those they hold dear.

6. Garden, preserve and cook your own food

Hobbits live off the earth, growing their own food and cooking it themselves. Granted, they don’t have many other options, but it’s still a habit worth mentioning given its relevance to our world. In modern society, food is sprayed with pesticides, preserved in sugary syrups and cooked with an entire symphony of additives. Growing your own organic food (or buying it, if you can’t grow a garden) and cooking it yourself will enable you to control what you eat, something you just can’t do with processed foods or in a restaurant. Avoid anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Keep it simple, as a hobbit would.

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7. Appreciate the little things

Hobbits lead very simple lives. They aren’t concerned with reputation or riches, things that people in our world can get so easily get caught up in. They appreciate the small things, from a bird’s whistle to the taste of good tea in the morning — and this is the source of their perpetual contentment. The more things that make you happy, the happier you will be. Instead of requiring a massive pay cheque or a promotion, hobbits are satisfied with the “taste of strawberries.” Taking time to be grateful for the little things in life will help you become a happier person.

Featured photo credit: Frederic Spycher via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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