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How These 7 Ways To Relax Will Change Your Life

How These 7 Ways To Relax Will Change Your Life

When the stresses of daily life events begin to take its toll, it’s time to renew our mind, body and spirit. If going on a vacation is not possible, try these time-tested ways to relax that are proven to rejuvenate from the inside out.

1. Breathe the right way

When we are too stressed, our breathing becomes fast and sharp. The right way to breath is to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly without any jerks. When you inhale, inflate your stomach as you fill in your lungs with oxygen. Deflate your stomach as you slowly exhale out.

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2. Meditate

Meditating calms and revitalizes the mind and makes you think clearly. If you are pressed for time, try this 10 minute-powerful meditation that will make your brain as refreshed as you feel when you wake up from deep sleep.

Om chanting meditation: Choose a quiet place and sit on the floor or a rug in cross-legged position also called Half-Lotus pose. Keep your face, neck and back aligned in a straight line. Place your hands comfortably on your knees with palms facing up, and close your eyes. Breath in and out normally three times. Now inhale deeply and slowly and observe your breath as it fills in. As you slowly exhale chant ‘OOOOMM’ in a sweet voice until the breath is totally out. As you chant, feel the vibration of ‘O’ traveling up from the navel to the chest then throat and ‘M’ reverberating in your head. Pause for 30 seconds then repeat. Do this a total of three times.

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Whereas you can chant any other word such as ‘peace,’ it’s been scientifically proven that the vibrations caused by the three sounds in OM (AUM) invigorates the mind and body.

3. Do Yoga

Yoga attempts to balance mind, body and soul by lowering stress levels in the mind, relaxing and toning the body and promoting emotional well-being. Poses such as Downward Dog and Seated Forward Bends rush blood to the brain and revitalize it by providing it with oxygen. The Corpse Pose is the ultimate relaxation exercise.

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4. Journal

Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great destresser as it helps to introspect and make sense of the situation. However, next time add something you are grateful for that will dispel negativity from within.

5. Bathe in warm water with music and visualization therapy

Light lavender scented candles or ocean scents if possible and play soothing music, preferably sounds of ocean waves as you prepare to soak. Lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Now imagine yourself on a beach, lounging in a beach chaise that is partially immersed in the ocean. Picture the blue-green horizon merging with the blue skies, splash of the waves and the cool breeze caressing your face. As you listen to the waves recede, imagine your fatigue and stress leaving with them. Feel your body relax and your breath slow down. Enjoy the happy feeling until you feel fully relaxed.

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6. Body Massage

A full body massage relaxes the tension in your muscles and promotes blood circulation. If a visit to the spa is not possible then here is a quick way to achieve the same result on your own. Before you hit the bed take a non-sticky oil such as almond oil and massage your legs starting from your toes moving upwards to your calves. Next massage your hands starting from your fingers moving up to your elbows. You will experience a restful deep sleep.

7. Laugh

Laughing out loud slows down the production of stress hormone, cortisol, in your body and in turn secretes endorphins into your brain thus making you feel good. This helps coping with stress much better. Read jokes, share funny anecdotes with friends and family or watch a funny sitcom. Just laugh, let go and relax.

Featured photo credit: ES.mond via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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