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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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