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No Gym. No Problem

No Gym. No Problem

    Maybe it’s too expensive.

    Maybe you’re too shy.

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    Some people just plain do not like the gym.  It can be boring, intimidating, and it can seem somewhat redundant.  The good news is there’s another way.  Sports!  Here we’ll take a look at what I feel are some of the most appropriate alternatives to the average gym routine.

    In my eyes an ideal fitness program should consist of a few key elements.  Full bodied, primitive movement patterns, intensity, and recordable progression.  Here are my top four sports that I feel possess these ingredients.

    Rock Climbing

    It doesn’t get much more primitive than scaling a sheet of rock with nothing but your hands and feet.  Rock climbing incorporates a lot of flexibility, leg strength, grip and upper body strength.  All the elements you’ll need to be one ripped monkey.

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    The Motivator: It’s the perceived matter of life or death.  Succeed or plummet.  Of course you’ll be wearing the proper safety equipment, but no one likes the feeling of having to let go.

    Competitive Swimming

    I’m not talking about splashing around at the local pool.  I’m talking about timed laps.  To get the
    most bang for your buck try and learn all the styles.  Butterfly, breast, back and freestyle.  What with this being the Olympic season these should be somewhat familiar to you right now.  I like swimming as a replacement for the gym because of its low impact on joints, full fluid body movements, and a little something called dynamic variable resistance.  The harder you push, the harder it pushes back.  You have infinite room for progression.

    The Motivator: There’s something about being a great swimmer that makes you feel just a little bit more fearless when traveling.  The earth IS 70% water.  Why not conquer it.

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    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

    An art form becoming more and more popular as mixed martial arts is more widely accepted in the United States.  As far as movement goes you’re looking at a lot of gripping, pulling, lunging and lifting.  And that’s just on your feet.  Once you hit the floor you’ll experience positions that would make a Yogi cringe.

    The Motivator: It’s bad ass, plain and simple.  Not to mention nothing makes you work harder than the possibility of being choked.

    Gymnastics

    Sure doing gymnastics as an adult may seem a little obscure to you.  But it can be done I promise you that.  And I’m not talking about Olympic level gymnastics here.  Simply being able to master your own body and its weight is far more superior to anything you could achieve in the gym.  Start out slow, be patient, be confident, and trust yourself.  No one knows your body better than you.

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    The Motivator: Now, not only will you be able to dress like a ninja.  You’ll be able to move like one too.

    I won’t lie, I may be a little partial when it comes to the sports I’ve selected here.  But I can tell you this.  In the world we live in form will always follow function.  Master any one of these sports and you can be sure the results will follow.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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