Five Fun Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Lifestyle

Exercise is an important part of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but if the term “exercise” summons images of endless hours at the gym, think again! There are plenty of ways to make exercise a part of your life that are not only fun, they’ll actually make you look forward to getting those workouts in.

Try one of these five tips to make working out work for you:

1. Take a class.

There is a nearly endless list of classes out there to suit just about any interest – and a surprising number of them don’t meet anywhere near a gym. Depending on what’s available where you live, you can have fun and burn calories by taking outdoor classes, such as rock climbing, paddle boarding or even horseback riding. For a gym style workout class that is still outdoors, there are outdoor boot camp-style exercise classes, for instance.

  • However, if you do prefer to exercise in a more climate-controlled environment, there is an array of classes offered at your local gym, ranging from spinning to step aerobics, dance classes and beyond. Martial arts or self-defense classes are not only a fun exercise option, but also teach you important skills you can use to protect yourself.

2. Get competitive.

You don’t have to be in high school or on a professional sports team to enjoy the benefits of competitive sports. Signing up with local intramural teams is not only a great technique to have fun and exercise, it can also help you meet new people and let your competitive streak out.

  • Not into team sports? That’s okay, too. Training for races such as triathlons or foot races of varying lengths is also an effective way to stay motivated and enjoy your workouts. Even better, many races benefit local charities, so when you participate you’re not only improving your fitness, you’re helping out others as well.

3. Get a Fitness Buddy.

Part of the reason classes are both a fun and effective exercise option is because you’re not going it alone. When you get all your friends moving with you, it’s a lot easier to keep moving yourself.

  • If you don’t have any close friends available nearby, grab your closest classmate or roommate and make a deal to exercise together at least three times a week. Take turns picking activities, or make a list of quick exercise ideas and inspirations.

4. Count it out.

Pedometers are a fantastic way to keep track of how many steps you’re taking throughout the day. According to James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Denver, adding just 2000 extra steps a day to your usual activity level can keep the pounds off.

  • Watching your steps add up on a pedometer is fun, because you probably already walk more than you think. Seeing immediate results by watching the numbers increase as you go about your day is extremely motivating. Before long, you’ll be finding ways to add steps to your day to see how quickly you can reach your goal number.

5. Enlist a furry friend.

Fido needs exercise just as much as you do, after all. Walking your dog means walking yourself and that’s good for both of you. The benefits of dog walking go beyond simply adding steps to your day (aren’t you glad you have that pedometer with you now?). According to a recent article on WebMD, multiple studies have shown that pet ownership can help reduce depression and elevate mood, in addition to improving overall health and well-being. That alone is reason enough to take your four-legged friend for a stroll.

  • Don’t have a dog? Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or even better, volunteer as a dog walker at your local animal shelter. Who knows? You may just find yourself a permanent companion.

Exercise Doesn’t Have to be a Chore

California weight loss programs can be an extremely effective way to lose those stubborn pounds, but it also helps to have a program that you love. With these five tips, you’re sure to find multiple ways to fit exercise into your life and enjoy it as well!

About the Author: Andi Walker is a contributing blogger and exercise enthusiast. When not blogging about wellness-related issues, Walker enjoys anything and everything outdoors, especially rock climbing.

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Living in the Here and Now

Time is relative —

and who better to know that than Albert Einstein, who said,

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.  Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

This concept affects us in virtually everything we do.

You need an unpleasant medical procedure, like a root canal. An appointment is scheduled a few weeks out. So, why is it that the days prior to the appointment fly by; yet, once you’re firmly planted in the chair, the minutes can’t move fast enough?

Your dream vacation, 14 days in a tropical paradise, is approaching in two weeks. Waiting to get on the plane takes “forever.” However, once you land, you know those exact same 14 days will shoot by at light-speed.

This fluidity boils down to a simple, twisted fact:

The more we want something, the longer it takes to get here and the faster it zips by. As a corollary, the more we want to avoid something, the quicker it shows up and the longer it remains.

Referencing the previous examples, since I really, really want to be in Hawaii, the wait-time to experience it is long-drawn-out. Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, since I don’t want to leave once I’m there, the time on vacation dissipates very quickly.

On the other hand, because I would do virtually anything to avoid being subjected to a dental drill, that appointment approaches more rapidly. However, since I so want to bolt from the dental chair, the period in which it holds me hostage slows to a crawl.

The concept of time’s flexibility is not new.

Though understanding it can make a significant impact on how to change one’s habits.

[Read more...]

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How to Help Yourself Get to Sobriety and Recovery

by Melisa Cammack

The depths of addiction are a scary place to be, and those of us who have experienced this in the past or are facing these issues now know that crawling out into the light is not an easy task. Giving up something as seemingly comforting as addiction can be frightening and overwhelming. To say recovery is easy would be a lie, but as they say, the best things in life are worth fighting for. How, though, should you begin cutting through obstacles and blazing the trail to success?

Seeking Help

Chances are if you’re reading this article you realize you have a problem with some substance or another and you realize you need help, and that is step one; this is arguably the most important step. Realizing there is an issue and reaching out for help takes a large amount of honesty and insight on your part, so be proud of yourself! Rehabilitation centers, talk and group therapy, hospitalization, or even self-help literature are all legitimate forms of help, however some of these methods may be more effective than others; if you have little to no willpower like most addicts, you should consider a rehab center.

Making Changes

Having a completely sober period of time under your belt is a huge accomplishment, so the next step is to try not to relapse. It is heavily suggested to cut contact with any friends you may have used with. Don’t worry, because this may not last forever. You could very well serve as an example to your old friends of what sober living can look like. Attracting people to being sober is truly an invaluable skill that all recovering addicts possess.

Starting Anew

It is also important to avoid any past routines that make you think of using your old substance of choice. Music is a very strong trigger for many people, so try finding some new musical groups to attach fresh memories to. Experts encourage addicts to get rid of any old albums, photos, clothes, movies, video games, and other things that have negative memories associated with them. It can be difficult, but a clean slate is without a doubt worth a small loss of material possessions.

You are about to endure the most important, most difficult, most worth-while journey of your life. You might very well slip, and that’s okay. It’s normal, even! As long as you pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other, you’re on the road to recovery.

About the Author: Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for several years, and loves writing for parenting and self-help articles. Melisa is currently promoting the Delray Recovery Center, and encourages those who are seeking help with abuse to look into recovery facilities.

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Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!

Understand that – especially during this time of year – no one person can get it all done.

Some things will have to be left by the wayside.

Be patient with yourself for what you cannot get done.

Be patient with others for the same reason.

Every Monday, a new motivational memo is posted. Subscribers to ThisTimeIMeanIt.com’s coaching service get this – and many more benefits – sent to them directly. If you’d like to know more, follow this link.

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“I’m freaking out! Call me please!”

One of the nicest adjectives applied to me is “avuncular,” the kindly, wise uncle-type.

Being courteous — as well as avuncular — I always shut off my phone while at the movies. Upon exiting, its screen exhibits “You have five voice mail messages.” My cell number is closely held, so that many messages unto itself is odd; even worse, they’re also all from the same young man from down south who regularly seeks my guidance. Seeing so many messages from him in a two-hour time span, I fear the worst and quickly tap the link for message one.

“Hey, it’s me, can you call me back when you get a chance? Later. Bye.”

His words say “casual” but he’s attempting to cover the dusting of nervousness sprinkling his tone.

Message two arrived 15 minutes later.

“Me again, just wondering if you got my last message. I know you’re busy, but when you have a minute, I need some advice and knew you could help… Okay, thanks.”

Anxiety is increasing but is still reigned in.

Twenty minutes later,

“I guess your cell is turned off. But, as soon as you turn it on, I really need you to call. It’s important. Please. I need your help.”

He’s pleading, abandoning the illusion of being off-the-cuff.

I would have phoned right then, but two messages remained, with what could be additional essential information. I listen to the next dispatch, which arrived 30 minutes ago. His frantic voice explodes from the speaker:

“I’m freaking out! Please, please, please call me back!! It’s urgent!”

My inner parent is red-lining. I really want to call, but feel it’s important to get the last piece of data — which turns out to be 180 degrees different in attitude; tranquil, peaceful, and calm like a placid lake:

“Never mind the previous calls. Sorry to bother you.”

Relieved, but confused, I dial his number.

[Read more...]

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