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7 Ways You Don’t Realize Exercise Is Improving Your Life

7 Ways You Don’t Realize Exercise Is Improving Your Life

Having an active lifestyle with time dedicated to exercise does more for you than just build muscle. Running day in high school gym class may have been met with moans and groans, but there was a point to it that we most likely didn’t care about. Just an hour of exercise everyday improves the quality of our day-to-day lives immensely as well as the longevity and the enjoyment we get out of it. Find a way to incorporate exercise into your life whether it’s going to the gym everyday or something more unique like joining a dodge ball league. Regardless of what you choose, here are 7 ways exercise improves our lives:

1. Reduces Anxiety

Exercising is a natural alternative to relieving anxiety. Rather than taking anti-anxiety medication, scientists from Princeton University have found that a short workout or a walk may be just as beneficial in getting rid of anxiety. Even if it’s just a 30-minute workout, scientists have found that people with anxiety feel better long after working out. Feeling anxious? Go outside and go for an intense run — even if it’s just down the block — to get rid of the anxiety.

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2. Boosts Your Sex Drive

Exercising has been proven to improve the sex drive for both men and women. How? Well for one, exercising releases endorphins which make you feel ‘good’. Second, exercising increases blood circulation throughout your body and that of course, includes your sexual organs and thus making it easier for women to have an orgasm. This can create the feeling of being desired and undoubtedly get you in the mood for for some hanky panky given the right circumstances. The next time you’re off to the gym, take your partner with you. Working out together can be just the right boost.

3. Strengthens Your Immune System

Working out regularly helps strengthen the fighting power of your immune system in a few different ways. Because your body heats up during a workout, it reacts to bacteria similarly as it would a fever according to a study published by LifePrint. The study explains that as your body’s temperature rises it prevents and reduces bacterial growth. Constantly working out creates a natural fight against bacterias and viruses that can result in the flu for example. Sweating also boosts your immune system by removing bacteria from your body.

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4. Makes Your Brain Stronger

If you haven’t been thinking clearly lately, the trick may be to make a stop at the gym for an hour. As you workout your muscles, your brain also strengthens improving the brain’s functionality. The New York Times interviewed scientists who found that when you work out, new mitochondria is produced within your brain cells and the more mitochondria you produce the more likely it is that you can prevent Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders. Your brain cells become re-energized, which, like the rest of your body, can handle much more when feeling strong.

5. Increases Your Confidence in Your Body’s Image

With regular exercise you will see an improvement in the way you see your body. We tend to be our own biggest critics. If there are things we don’t like about our bodies, we’re the first to be hard on ourselves and if there are things we do like about it we should embrace it. Regardless of what you look like the most important thing is that you feel strong and healthy. When you exercise, you’ll not only see your confidence and self esteem go up, but you’ll start to see your body change as it becomes stronger, energized and less prone to fatigue.

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6. Consistent Sleep Patterns

Taking the time to exercise during the day can actually help you get a better night’s sleep. Seven hours is the golden number for how many hours of sleep you should get, but if you have had insomnia or are constantly waking up in the middle of the night, an hour of exercise in the afternoon may be your cure. One reason many people are not able to have a full night’s sleep is because they feel anxious before going to bed so they may end up tossing and turning throughout the night. Anxiety for many people can be relieved just by exercising, so if you tend to feel anxious or stressed out in the evening take the time to work it off during the day by going for a jog or walk. When you feel rested in the morning, you will have much more energy to go out and accomplish anything on your list.

7. Makes You Happy

Exercising releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Endorphins are not the only chemicals your body releases when you workout. In an article by Self, scientists examine how exercise is one of the best cures for depression because your brain produces higher levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine as your heart rate goes up and those work as natural anti-depressants. While those three work as an antidepressant, endorphins work as a feel-good cure which can last for up to 12 hours after a half-hour run. If you’ve been in a bad mood all day or feel upset, go for a run, punch those punching bags and see how great you’ll feel after!

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Featured photo credit: Susan Aksu Movsesian 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

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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