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8 Reasons To Get Off Your Butt And Get Active

8 Reasons To Get Off Your Butt And Get Active

We all know we’re supposed to exercise, yet many of us struggle to remain active. Exercise provides such incredible benefits, that each us should take a pointed look at moving more. You don’t have to be a size two, or want to be one, in order to get active. Finding time to walk more, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or free exercise classes are all simple ways to ease into exercising. While you find ways to change your life for the better, stay motivated with these eight marvelous health benefits. 

1. Fight Health Problems

Exercise is a powerful tool in helping prevent certain health problems. Being active strengthens your heart muscles, as well as lowers your chances of getting certain cancers and arthritis. Exercise is also a useful habit in managing some conditions, including strokes, depression and metabolic syndromes. Finally, being active helps to keep your bones and muscles strong. 

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2. Boost Energy

Exercise can help to boost your mood, but it also helps you have more energy. Though it seems counter intuitive, spending energy exercising will strengthen your muscles so you have greater endurance. Between feeling less stressful and having more energy, being active can make a tangible difference in your overall health.

3. Sleep Better

Being active also aids in improving your sleep. By getting in the habit of physical activity, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster. Not only that, studies show exercise also helps you sleep deeper. By being more active during the day, your nights will go much smoother.

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4. Achieve Goals

Staying active is a fantastic way to set achievable goals for yourself. Learning how to plan and stick to a goal is a critical life skill, and practicing can help you in other areas of life. Plus, meeting goals you’ve set for yourself is a helpful confidence booster.

5. Healthy Sex Life

Exercise is a significant factor for your sexual health, too. Improved energy levels also tend to extend to the bedroom when you’re getting active, though health benefits go beyond a better mood. Increased physical activity for women can increase arousal. Additionally, men who exercise are less likely to have erectile disfunction than men who don’t.

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6. Live Longer

Exercise also improves your chances of living longer. Besides the health problems being active helps you avoid, those who are active for seven hours a week are 40 percent less likely to die early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.

7. Extend Your Health

Exercise is also a critical part of keeping your body healthy later in life. Staying active keeps your balance and posture sharp, and also reduces the risk of falls. Particularly important for aging readers, even regular walks can help you stay firmly planted. Besides, if you start getting active earlier in life, you’ll retain your ability to live independently for longer.

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8. Healthy Weight

Finally, exercise helps to control your weight. While weight loss doesn’t need to be a goal to reap benefits from exercise, keeping your weight in a healthy range has a multitude of health benefits. Some of these benefits include a lower risk of heart problems, plus lower chances of developing type two diabetes. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day in order to maintain and improve your health. Even walks and easy hikes go a long way towards keeping yourself in good health.

Featured photo credit: Zhao ! via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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