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How to Wake Up Like a Dog

How to Wake Up Like a Dog

    Before I get started, some of you must be thinking that I’ve gone completely mad suggesting that we should be waking up like a dog — or any other animal for that matter.

    Let me explain. Each morning here at my home (without fail), one of my Lhasa Apso dogs (a boy named Chester) starts to prop himself up at the side of my bed at about 6:30 am to see if I’m getting up yet.

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    He does this even if it’s still completely dark outside — like it usually is during our Canadian winter season this early in the morning. He must have some type of internal alarm clock that wakes him up that early each morning. Fortunately for me, he doesn’t start the day barking which would really annoy me.

    I’m quite used to this, of course, since he and his sister (named Roxie) are already six years of age. But for some reason, it dawned on me today that he is actually setting a pretty darn good example for me — and probably everyone else out there.

    Waking Up with Enthusiasm Each Day

    When he gets up each morning, he is wide awake and full of energy and enthusiasm. It is almost like he is showing me that he is ready to take on another day no matter what’s on the agenda.

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    Chester must have already decided that it was going to be a great day no matter what. He made the decision to be super-positive and his resulting energy first thing in the morning each day certainly shows!

    This is definitely something the rest of us can learn. We make the decisions on how we feel for any given situation — whether it be positive or negative. It is us who really decides how we will face each new day.

    If we choose to be negative first thing in the morning, then we will likely have a pretty rotten day. On the other hand, if we choose to be positive when we wake up we will be more successful at living our day — even if full of challenges — with more energy and gusto.

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    Vibes From Positive People

    I’m sure that we can all think of at least one person we all know — whether at the office or some other place — who always seems to be cheerful and happy. It’s almost infectious for the rest of us. The positive vibes that such people have seem to wake the rest of us up. This is why I think it’s so important to be among like-minded people on a regular basis.

    In my case, it’s my dog who is displaying this type of positive vibe on a daily basis right in front of me. This is yet another example of how my pets have taught me something useful. I had originally thought that my dogs taught me only about compassion and responsibility — which were already great lessons in life. Now it seem that my dogs also have the capacity to teach me more about motivation and how I should approach each new day.

    Think about it. You have the power to determine how you feel and how you start your day. If you want to have a great day, you make the decision to do so…just like how my dog Chester does each morning.

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    If you know people who always seem to be super positive, feel free to share below how they have affected you. Also, if you have learned something from a pet, feel free to share that as well in the comments below.

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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.

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      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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