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The Weekend Project: Finding Yours

The Weekend Project: Finding Yours

One of the best ways to master something is to just jump in and do it. However, for some, this can be seen as a waste of time blindly doing something you aren’t sure you’ll succeed in. So, why not dedicate a weekend to it? This is known as a “Weekend Project” and today, we will talk about how a weekend project can help you improve your skills, knowledge, interests, and in return, your life. We will also talk about how you can get involved with your own weekend project.

What Exactly is a Weekend Project?

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    Originally, weekend projects were geared more toward home improvement. During the week, you can’t work on a high-traffic area of your home, and the responsibilities of one’s occupation plus the high energy of the work week just deemed it too time consuming. So, individuals would wait until the weekend to do repairs. However, in modern times, weekend projects don’t have to involve a hammer—they can encompass everything from cleaning out your home office to building a computer. These are the type of weekend projects we will focus on.

    The Productivity Factor

    The average workweek has changed for most individuals; it’s the weekend that has changed. One thing to make clear is that your “weekend” project doesn’t have to occur between the days of Friday and Sunday; any period of time during the week that you would otherwise spend in idle mode can be a time for your project.

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    Weekend projects can even make you more marketable in your job and keep your skills sharp. For example, no matter which industry you work in, having skills in database management could be marketable in your current job or the industry you attain to be in. Spending a weekend learning the basics of the database language SQL can allow you to learn an easy-to-understand language.

    Creating Your Own Project

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      Not everyone views productivity in the same way, which presents a question of how you can apply the productive benefits of weekend projects to your own life? One thing to ask yourself is how you wish to benefit from it. The benefit doesn’t have to be extravagant, like saving the world, but the project should be a personal one.

      A weekend pursuit that helps you, and improves your life directly or indirectly, will allow you to feel more accountable to get it complete. Weekends are the time when you are allowed to be a bit selfish; you have worked so hard during the week, and on your day of rest, you should pamper yourself and your mind in some way.

      You should think about how long you’d like to devote to this project. Projects can cover multiple weekends if warranted, like learning a computer language or purging your home of clutter. Lastly, you should consider how much of an investment you’ll like to make in this project—you can have weekend projects as inexpensive as learning new yoga poses, or as costly as reviving your vintage car. It is truly up to you, but something to consider.

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      5 Suggestions for Weekend Projects

      Below, we have give suggestions for projects you can take up for this weekend. Also, to get you started, we have each project linked with a great page that can point you in the right direction:

      As you can see, these small endeavors are more productive than you think. Some of the best creations, in technology especially, have been created out of side projects. While you don’t have to have a weekend project with those high expectations, you may be surprised what does come out of your small activity. Let us know in the comments what projects you’ll do this weekend.

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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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