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8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

We all know that exercise is good for us, but the idea of devoting a large chunk of our already scarce time to hitting the gym or pounding the pavement is enough to make even the best of us whimper on some days. There is hope, however. New research has shown that even running five minutes per day can have a dramatic positive impact on a person’s health and well-being. Post this list in your home and read it next time you think you can’t spare five minutes.

1. Reduced chance of developing cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and devoting as little as five minutes per day to moderate aerobic exercise can cut your risk of developing it almost in half. A study between leisure-time running and cardiovascular mortality risks, published by the American College of Cardiology examined more than 55,000 adults, looking at exercise habits over 15 years, and found that people who were even slightly active had much stronger hearts and lungs.

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2. Reduced risk of all-cause mortality

The same study found that a person’s risk of dying from any cause was cut by almost one-third if he exercised less than 51 minutes per week compared to people who didn’t exercise at all. That time can be broken up however you like. Five to 10 minutes per day, 15 minutes on Tuesday and 35 on the weekend, even one weekly not-quite-an-hour long session will give you the same reduced risk of death.

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    3. Live three years longer

    Not only can exercise reduce your risk of dying, it can actually add years to your life. From the sample of 55,000 participating in the study mentioned above, those who exercised regularly lived an average of three years longer. That works out to more than 1.5 million extra minutes of life in exchange for five minutes of exercise a day. You would have to live for more than 800 years for that not to be worth it.

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    4. Improved blood pressure

    Given the improved cardiovascular fitness that goes along with exercise, it should be no surprise that working out regularly will improve your blood pressure. Researchers published a study on aerobic interval training reducing blood pressure and improving myocardial function in hypertensive patients was published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology. This study showed that the more exercise your heart gets, the better it is at regulating blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise really is a no-brainer.

    5. Reduced blood sugar sensitivity

    When your body is overly sensitive to dips and spikes in blood sugar, you are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes kills more than 71,000 people each year in the U.S. alone. Research from the Kowsar Medical Institute suggests that running regularly can help reduce blood sugar sensitivity even in people who already have diabetes. Most of us enjoy regular exercise more than regular insulin injections, so lace up those cross trainers.

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      6. Better mood

      Not only is running great for your body, it is also great for your outlook on life. We’ve all heard of the alleged “runner’s high” that people feel when they come home from a great jog, and science has actually found support for the idea. Running has been shown to improve mood immediately afterwards. Imagine if you could spend five minutes each morning increasing the chances that you would be in a great mood all day.

      7. Improved sleep

      A night spent tossing and turning can spoil even the best day. Being tired and grumpy is a sure fire way to make a person unpleasant to be around, even when they’re on vacation. Fortunately, it turns out that regular exercise can do more to improve sleep than even the strongest sleeping pill, and with no side effects. A 2012 study on daily morning running, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that daily morning runs led to significantly better sleep in a group of healthy teenagers.

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        8. Enhanced mental function

        Not only will exercise help you sleep better, it will actually make you more effective when you’re awake. Running to catch up: rapid generation of evidence for interventions in learning disability services, a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that exercise improves mental function so much that it can actually reduce the deficits caused by learning disabilities. Some schools are beginning to adopt early morning exercise programs because of the improvements they have seen in a child’s ability to learn following physical activity.

        Featured photo credit: Landscape Mountains Sky Clouds Sunrise Man/tpsdave via pixabay.com

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        Last Updated on September 10, 2019

        7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

        7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

        Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

        Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

        This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

        One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

        Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

        Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

        1. Gratitude

        Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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        The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

        Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

        So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

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          2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

          This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

          For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

          What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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          Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

          3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

          This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

          Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

          An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

          Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

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            4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

            According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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            There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

            5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

            Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

            Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

            6. Rise Earlier

            The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

            For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

            So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

            Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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            7. Listen to Uplifting Music

            Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

            Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

            It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

            Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

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            Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
            [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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