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How Learning Guitar Positively Affects Well-being

How Learning Guitar Positively Affects Well-being

There are a multitude of reasons to learn guitar, aside the obvious burning desire to be heard and admired for a skill that seems so out of reach for most people. We don’t all crave to play guitar night after night to a crowd of adoring fans screaming our name; some of us want to learn to play for another reason.

Guitar offers a creative outlet with an endless stream of new things to learn, which in turn carves out your unique sound. If you are not known for being the most vocal person in your circle of friends, then perhaps guitar is your megaphone, and your way of speaking a thousand words with just a handful of notes.

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    So how does learning guitar affect your state of well-being?

    Learning guitar is often cited as a form of relaxation for many people because of the therapeutic nature of the instrument. When you learn guitar you can allow yourself to fully focus on one thing, and have a mini escape from the pressures of your everyday life. When you look at one of the most popular demographics of people learning guitar, you find that it is men over 40 who work full-time. These are people who are looking for a break from their job, and a little bit of alone time from their family. These are also people who are looking for a nostalgic experience as they work towards playing their favourite song from Rush, The Rolling Stones, or The Sex Pistols.

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    It’s all about reward

    General well-being is heavily controlled by the reward we are given for the time we spend on something. When you spend just 20 minutes absorbed in learning one riff that takes you back to a place in your mind, you are likely going to feel a sense of achievement when you put the guitar down. This same sense of reward is experienced by gym-goers who are slowly working towards the body of their dreams.

    Taking up a hobby such as the guitar can have a profound impact on your confidence, which can make big changes in your personal life. We have all seen the comical scenes in movies where an unconfident and “unpopular” kid suddenly becomes cool by playing guitar. Okay, so movies do make it all look like magic, but the reality is that gradually, as you become more and more confident as a guitar player, you’ll be more confident in your day-to-day life, which is how your well-being starts to benefit.

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    In my opinion, personal well-being starts to suffer when we spend too much time on something that offers nothing more than a financial reward. Most of the time, however, it is not realistic for someone to quit their financially-rewarding job to spend their time immersed in riffs and solos. Fortunately, learning guitar doesn’t mean that you need to spend 10 hours a day in a dark room with a music stand and a slowly dwindling list of friends. Just 20 minutes every day is enough time to both improve and experience a sense of achievement.

    Confidence and Influence

    One of the best incentives for someone learning guitar is to promise a friend that you will teach them to play in the near future. Every day when you find yourself with 20 minutes alone to practice guitar, you can have one clear goal: to be able to share this knowledge with your friend. This changes your confidence on the instrument massively, as you are now the influencer. This also works really well when someone works towards teaching guitar part-time alongside their full-time job. The guitar player then gets financial reward with a high sense of achievement, with the added bonus that they reenforce everything that they learn in their own time.

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    If you have been searching for that mini escape from your day to day pressures then maybe you should learn guitar today.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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