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The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 3

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 3

    So, we have made it to the third week of the challenge and I am officially sore! You know the saying “I’m working muscles that I never thought I had”? Yeah, I think I know what that means now.

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    Anyways, it’s been a big week for both editors here at Lifehack as we move forward with the challenge. Here is our experience from week 3 as well as our results.

    Mike’s Take

    I’ve gotten better over the past week with my eating, but not so much with my exercise. I’ve only started to get back into the NerdFitness stuff (only to be fully aware that I’m traveling again this weekend to watch my wife run in the Tough Mudder) and my Run 2 5K workouts have been non-existent since that first week.

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    Basically, I’ve fallen off the wagon and am slowly making my way back on. It’s clear to me that CM is going to take this thing, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up. After all, I’m not doing this just to win a challenge amongst editors; I’m doing this to improve my overall health.

    There hasn’t been much in the way of change of measurements, which is a good thing (I suppose). But Week 4 has to be better. It just has to. Here is where I’m at as of the end of Week 3 (initial results are in parentheses):

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    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 35.8 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 40 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.6 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 19.9 inches (21)
    • Total inches: 108.3 inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I decided to challenge myself this week by upping the weight and reps in the NerdFitness routine. I added significant weight to my leg exercises (30 – 40lbs) as well as upped the number of reps in my deadlifts. Also, I moved from inclined pushups on the stairs to full on pushups on the ground which has kept my heart rate up as well as help work out my core muscles more. I’m also making sure that I am using the right combination of weight and reps so that when I get close to the last rep per set I am exhausting my muscles.

    I decided to switch up the 5K program to biking instead this week. The reason; I hate running. I’ve always been more of a “mechanical” kind of guy, so the idea of using a decent bike, repairing it, etc. is cool. Plus, I get to see more when I’m out for a ride and it’s far less boring. A couple of years ago I was turning into a biking fiend, so this fitness challenge has lit the spark.

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    As for my diet I am still sticking to a modified paleo approach. I have let a little more sugar slip back in (my wife bought me a mammoth peanut butter cup from a local chocolatier), but other than that I have been eating well. According to some different calorie counter apps I’m currently under the number of calories that I need to be eating, but I feel OK and my blood sugar seems correct, so I’m not too worried about it. Once again, the thing that I probably don’t consume enough of is water. But, in good Lifehack spirit, I have set up a few reminders on my iPhone to help me remember.

    Here are my results for the past week (initial results are in parentheses):

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 201.4 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 41.75 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 42.1 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 23.5 inches (23.5)
    • Total inches: 121.6 inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Muscular man lifting weights via Shutterstock)

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on January 11, 2021

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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    2. Stress Relief

    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Improved Sleep

    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

    4. Appetite Control

    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

    7. Mosquito Repellant

    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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    8. Pain Relief

    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

    9. The New Anti-Viral

    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

    10. Improved Cognitive Function

    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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    11. Money Saving

    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

    Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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