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Improve Life Quality Now by Enjoying Your Sundays

Improve Life Quality Now by Enjoying Your Sundays

Try a quick exercise. Look over your past week and see how much of your time was spent on work. Work also includes house chores, grocery shopping, errands, and minding the children. If work represents one of six slices of a pie chart, how big is that slice? Quite big, I bet.

We work hard so we can afford holidays or a move to a bigger home and improve life quality.  Don’t wait for a holiday or a new home to bring balance to your life.  Reserve Sundays for doing meaningful things you don’t get to do on weekdays and improve life quality now.

1. Slow Down

Turn off the alarm. If your internal clock wakes you up at the usual hour, use the time for deep breathing exercises or read inspiring quotes and experience positive emotions.  If you wake up late, that’s great! You’ve begun to enjoy your Sunday.

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The point here is to not have a schedule. Letting the day flow will allow more leisure time for recreational activities and for doing them at a leisurely pace.

2. Disconnect Electronically

Is this hard for you to do? Look back to an instance when you felt toxic and were ready to toss your phone out the window to get 15 minutes of uninterrupted time. This will make it easier to put your phone on silent and out of sight. Now is the time to give your laptop and other devices a rest too.  You may be surprised to discover engaging things to do minus your devices.

3. Notice and Appreciate Things

No strict schedules and no electronic devices equals a space of silence and freedom to just BE. Heighten your senses and attention to find joy in the simplest things—homey kitchen smells, new grass, children’s laughter, a leisurely shower, or your relaxed breathing. To measurably improve life quality, be aware of and appreciate the things that bring quality to your life.

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4. Enhance Your Home

The spaces you move around in affect your well being. Home is where you wake up every morning. Enjoy Sunday by engaging in a hobby—art, crafts, carpentry, gardening—and decorate your home in the process.  No such hobbies? Try rearranging the furniture, adding a couple of throw pillows, and organizing your book shelf, kitchen cabinet, or wardrobe closet.  Your enhanced living space would then be a pleasant place to come home to.

5. Sit Down for a Meal

Is your weekday breakfast an on-the-go affair where you munch on a sandwich as you hurry to the subway station?  How often do you get to have dinner with your family or partner?  Sunday is when family and friends can sit down, share a meal, and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.  Have fun preparing the meal together at home or make it a restaurant treat.

Ask light questions to get conversation going.  Be positive, listen fully, and appreciate these wonderful people you share your life with.

6. Help Someone Out

It could be your child asking for your opinion on a school project, an elderly neighbor needing some company, or a request for volunteers to pack relief goods for disaster victims.  Helping others moves focus away from yourself and brings meaning to life beyond mere accomplishment.

7. Do Something Just for You

Make Sunday a day to reward yourself.  Get a haircut, buy that nice shirt you’ve been saving for, have a massage, watch a matinee or a sporting event, or stay home to read, play video games, or nap.  The only rule: it makes you happy and is good for your health.

8. Attend to a Spiritual Practice

A spiritual practice is an activity that reminds you of your connection to the divine source. It could be a full-day facilitated retreat, a Sunday service, a quiet jog in nature, a gratitude journal, insightful books, or inspiring music. Keeping a meaningful connection to the divine lightens your perspective in life.

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Sunday is a day to forget work and to rediscover other areas of your life. A consciously-spent Sunday helps you appreciate work and allows you to handle the week’s stress. You gain work-life balance that will improve life quality starting right now.

Featured photo credit: Marya Oct.Calendar via flickr

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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