Strenuous leisure. It may sound like an oxymoron—but trust me, this is a practice that can transform your life for the better. Strenuous leisure activities are all about how you choose to spend your free time.
While some people think of their leisure time as time to literally lounge about and sit on the sofa—leisure doesn’t mean lazy. I want you to stop thinking of your free time in this way. Instead, I want you to think of your leisure time as time you can use to work on yourself and do things for you.
Is sitting on the couch, eating junk food and watching TV really doing anything for you? Not really. Strenuous leisure on the other hand is a way to spend that time using your body, getting in more physical exertion and enjoying the benefits that come with good ole’ fashion physical work.
This is why strenuous leisure is so important and why I’m not only going to give you a few examples of strenuous leisure activities but talk about their benefits and why you should be taking this approach to leisure time today.
Examples of Strenuous Leisure
So, you have leisure time on your hands—and now it is time to choose the right way to spend that time. Of course, one of the best ways you can spend your leisure time is just going to the gym and exercising.
However, exercise should already be part of your everyday routine. It shouldn’t count as leisure time. There is a time and place for gym workouts, and they are important—but they shouldn’t be the only way that you are staying physically active.
Strenuous leisure activities will essentially put all of that sweat in the gym to good use—after all, you work out for a reason. Gym time is your training for being able to perform strenuous leisure activities with ease—so something as simple as doing yard work in your house doesn’t cause you to hurt yourself or become unbearably sore.
Here are some “strenuous leisure” activities that are going to get your heart-rate up, get you moving and keep you active:
Carrying heavy loads
Simply put, these are all types of leisure activities that you can do in your free time that are going to get your heart rate up and pumping. These are examples of types of strenuous activities that you should be doing three times a week, in addition to your workouts and other modern leisure activities (such as walking and leisurely bike riding).
Why Strenuous Leisure?
So, if you already spend a good amount of time every day working out—why do you need to engage in strenuous leisure? There are a few reasons—the first being most people, even those who work out religiously every day aren’t getting enough physical exercise.
Think about it, if you are working out for an hour every morning and then spending 23 hours either sitting at a desk, sitting on a couch or laying in bed—you are not getting enough physical activity.
Strenuous leisure gives you time to clear your mind, spend your time the way you want to and engage in some physical activity while you’re at it. It can help balance your day by providing more activity than just gym time alone and take your overall fitness to the next level.
Engaging in strenuous leisure means burning more calories, working more muscles and getting more fit. It can also help trigger an endorphin release at other times during the day besides just your morning or evening workout time.
Studies have been done on this type of strenuous leisure, finding that it can help with everything from premature mortality, obesity, depression and virtually everything in between. It can also help lower stress and improve your flexibility as you use different muscles that you may not normally be using.
One of my favorite benefits is that by doing strenuous leisure activities, you can help yourself get a better night of sleep. You should never underestimate the power of a good night of rest. This is why I have such a regiment schedule—to get sleep. However, when you are more active during the day, it can help your body get in rest and recovery mode at night so you can get the most of your sleep.
When Is Strenuous Leisure Too Much?
Whether you are training for a marathon, or just starting to take the stairs at work, you need to know your body and you need to understand how to listen to your body—which means you need to know when you are doing too much.
Chances are, the average person isn’t doing too much in terms of strenuous leisure and isn’t pushing themselves too hard when it comes to how they spend their free time. However, if you are someone who is trying to fill every moment of your free time with strenuous leisure, you need to know when to take a break.
It is so important that you stay active throughout the day and that you are constantly pushing yourself in order to combat the sedentary lifestyles many of us live. However, the body also needs to rest and recover.
This is why I am so diligent with my diet and nutrition and so diligent with my sleep. I get quality sleep every night so that my body can recover from the day, and I eat a clean, healthy and balanced diet to refuel after a day filled with activity.
Remember, your leisure time is a time to focus on you—so why not spend that time doing activities that can help you better yourself.
Years ago, if you wanted to get a good job, make money and have an established career—you needed to go to college and get a four-year degree. This was the way things were—years ago.
Today, this whole mindset that you need a four-year college degree in order to be successful truly is a thing of the past. After all, some of the biggest and most successful businessmen in our world today never finished college. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates—all college dropouts.
But you’ve probably already heard that all before.
Today, I’m not just talking about those one of a kind stories of successful men who have done it without a college degree. I’m not here to talk about how to be an anomaly.
I’m here to talk about how you can get a better education and save yourself money in the process. And you can do this through internet self-education.
The Basics of Internet Self-Education
Let’s start with what I believe is the best form of education—self education. Thanks to the internet and the fact that we have virtually endless amounts of information right at our fingertips—today, people like you and me can get an amazing education right online, for hardly any money at all.
Sure, there are going to be classes, online courses, webinars and eBooks that you can buy for more insight and more reading materials—but most of what you can access online is free, or almost free. There is only one real thing you need (besides an internet connection) and that is the willingness to put in the word.
Every person you interact with in the world today who has a phone, tablet, computer or internet connection can get a world-class education, but the reason that most people don’t take advantage of this opportunity to learn is because they aren’t willing to put in the work.
Staying Focused on Your Self-Education
Before you go any farther, and before you think you are going to get this outstanding education just by searching around online—you need to realize that you have to stay focused, and you have to have a strong work ethic.
There is no structure with self-education. There is no teacher, no class attendance and no penalties for not doing your homework. Simply put, if you are not going to be willing to put in the effort, you shouldn’t even bother reading the rest of this article.
If you can’t stay focused, self-education won’t work.
If you won’t go the extra-mile while no one is watching, self-education won’t work.
If you aren’t committed to actually learning, self-education won’t work.
You also need to be willing to put what you learn to use. An online self-education, and “teaching yourself” on the internet isn’t going to translate on a resume for an employer, so once you do the work and start learning, you need to start putting what you learn to task so that there are some fruits of your labor.
The Advantages of Self-Education Over a College Education
If you have been thinking about going back to school in order to get an education, one of the first things that you will learn is—it is going to cost you a fortune. That is the great part about an online self-education, it is virtually free.
But there are even more advantages than that, here are a few more of the perks of educating yourself.
A self-education gives you the opportunity to explore the topics you need. There are no limits, like there are in colleges. You are the teacher, which means you get to decide what you are learning.
It can help you manage your time. You don’t have any more valuable asset than your time. A self-education allows you to more effectively manage your time, so you can create a time table that works for you and set deadlines that work with your schedule.
You can study without interruptions. Everything is on your time, so you can study without interruptions and you don’t have to worry about a crowded schedule taking away from your valuable study time.
The college path is crowded. If you graduate from college with a degree—you will be thrown into a market of thousands of other people who graduated with the same degree, have the same resume and are looking for the same job. Instead of fighting your way through a crowd, you can take the road less traveled with self-education.
It allows you to become an expert. With self-education you can really deep dive into the very specific area you want to be an expert in. If you want to work in a certain field and want to be an expert in that field—that is the only thing you need to study.
Just think about the last time you sat down in a class as part of a formal education. Now think about all of the classes and lectures that you sat through—subjects like geometry and chemistry. How often do you use these in your professional endeavors?
When you embark on a path of self-education, you can avoid classes like this that don’t benefit you—and you can just do what you need to do to better yourself. A self-education is all about you, and there is no better investment than investing in yourself.
A self-education can save you money—but it isn’t going to be easy. If you are ready and willing to put in the work, create a goal for yourself and stay focused on that goal so that your dreams come to fruition, it can be the key to changing your life for the better.
Stop waiting for the right information to come your way—and teach yourself, you will be surprised by what you are capable of and surprise by what you can learn when you put your mind to it. Now, you need to make the decision that you can and will educate yourself and take that first step to your new future.
When is the last time that you went out in your yard and chopped some wood? While wood chopping used to be quite common—it is no longer as regular of a practice as it once was, which is a real shame.
This is because chopping wood can do more than just fuel your fire, it is actually a great way for any many to boost their testosterone levels. And I’m not just saying this because it is a traditionally “manly” activity, there is actually a great deal of science behind it.
And after all, healthy testosterone levels can be good for you and your body. There are so many men who are looking for a way to increase their testosterone levels—as it can help with everything from energy to sex drive. However, there can be complications with certain hormone treatments and medications.
Chopping wood, on the other hand, is a safe and natural way to get those testosterone levels up—plus it is a great way to get a workout while you’re at it. Here is a little more background on wood chopping, testosterone and all of the benefits that can come with this activity.
What Testosterone Does For You
There are many men who think that testosterone is just about sex—and while it is true that testosterone is an important part of a healthy sex drive, it is about more than that.
High testosterone can actually increase your muscle mass, improve memory, help with concentration and give you energy. Those are all things we could use each and every day for our personal and professional endeavors.
Testosterone can also help you get that lean muscle mass and help you increase bone density—which is something that is particularly important as you age.
Plus, higher testosterone levels can help boost your libido as well.
Unfortunately, as we age, our testosterone levels naturally start to decline. Those who suffer from low testosterone, or “low T” can experience serious side effects as well, including fatigue, depression and of course, low sex drive. However, instead of trying all of the new medications and treatments out there, you can simply get out and start chopping, to take care of those troublesome side effects of low T.
Yeah, testosterone does a lot for you—and it impacts a lot of things in your body, which is why it is important to be on the lookout for natural, healthy ways to keep your testosterone levels up—natural approaches like chopping wood.
The Correlation Between Wood Chopping and Testosterone
Why should you consider chopping wood if you are worried about low T levels? Well, according to one study from the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior—which looked at testosterone levels in forager-farmers in the Amazon, the act of chopping wood does more to boost testosterone than playing sports.
The study looked at testosterone levels after men chopped wood, versus when they played soccer—and found that testosterone levels were higher in the men that cut down trees to get food for their families. In short, the act of doing something physical on your own and seeing the fruits of your labor, instead of just exercising to be competitive and aggressive—so keep that in mind as you start getting out there.
In fact, this feeling of being of accomplishment can also help give you an extra boost of energy to continue to chop more wood, and to chop harder, faster and longer.
The Right Way to Chop Wood
So, you know why chopping wood is important, but if you’ve never done it before, you may not know how to jump in and get started. Don’t worry, it really isn’t all that difficult. Here’s all you need to do.
Put on some work gloves, work boots an safety glasses
Position your chopping block (it can be a thick piece of un-split wood or a tree trunk)
Take the wood you want to split and balance it on the chopping block, try to keep it as stable as possible.
Face the wood and your chopping block.
Keep your legs spread shoulder-width apart so you have a strong and stable stance.
Tighten your core.
Grip your axe in both hands, putting your dominant hand near the head of the axe, and the non-dominant hand toward the base. You want a lot of control.
Look for checks or small cracks in the wood, and aim for those—it will make the wood easier to split when you strike it.
Lift your axe high above your head, and bring it down in a strong, smooth and steady motion. When you hit the wood should split in half giving you two pieces you are ready to light on fire.
See? It’s really pretty simple. Just make sure you aim carefully and swing hard—and you should be fine. Next time you want to burn a fire to keep the family warm, don’t pick up that pre-chopped wood at the store, get out there and chop it yourself.
What Else Can Chopping Wood Do For You?
Want to boost testosterone? Get out there and start chopping wood. And while you’re at it, you will find that chopping wood can come with even more benefits. Here’s what else you can expect from some good ole’ fashioned wood chopping.
In addition to helping naturally boost your testosterone levels, chopping wood is a great form of cardiovascular exercise—which can help boost your heart health and help you burn fat. It is also a great strength-training type of exercise that can help you build muscle and look more toned.
Now that you know all that wood chopping can do for you, get out there and start chopping some logs for your fire place, fire pit, or just for your own personal benefit. You will feel like you got a great workout, you’ll feel stronger, you’ll feel accomplished—and you’ll do all of this while naturally helping you produce more of that hormone that your body really needs.
Cold exposure. As the name suggests, this popular new treatment is all about submerging your body in extreme cold environments for a limited amount of time to take advantage of some unreal health benefits. Cold exposure isn’t just the latest health fad though—it is a proven science that actually works.
Yes, it is cold.
Yes, it can be uncomfortable.
And yes, you are probably going to hate it the first time you try it.
But, if you can toughen up and get through the treatments (which I know you can) you will be amazed by what it can do for your body. Designed to help enhance the nervous system, decrease inflammation and promote longevity—cold exposure can do things that most modern medical treatments simply cannot.
If you have seen the cyro-tanks in your neighborhood, read about cold exposure therapy or seen videos of the men and women that submerge themselves in the wild—and have thought about trying it before. Now is the time.
There is no better time than the present to suck it up and give cold exposure therapy a try—because I promise you, it will be worth those few minutes of cold.
Don’t believe me, here are just six (of the many) proven reasons why you should toughen up and try cold exposure for yourself.
It Can Help You Lose Fat
Real, sustainable fat loss is very difficult. It takes a great deal of diet and exercise and a lot of discipline. However—cold exposure therapy can also help with your fat loss efforts.
Humans store what is known as brown fat tissue, which is what essentially turns calories from food into heat for your body. Cold exposure can increase the activity of this brown fat tissue, and essentially as the body gets colder and colder, this fat burns more and more food calories as a result.
Losing fat takes hard work and discipline, and having the discipline to sit through cold exposure can help you reach your fat loss goals.
It Can Help You Live Longer
I am so disciplined about taking care of myself and my body because I want to live as long as I can for my wife and for my children. Sure, cold exposure therapy can be a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes—but it can help you live longer.
There have been numerous studies on different animals and cold exposure therapy and it is thought that cold-exposure can increase hormesis. This is what makes animals stronger and more efficient when they are exposure to environmental stresses.
If you want to be stronger, more efficient and ready to take on the stressors of your environment—give cold exposure a try.
It Can Help You Heal Injuries.
If you have been suffering injuries from working out, sports or just manual labor on the job—you know how frustrating it can be when injuries start to hold you back. The good news is cold exposure can help.
One of the key benefits of cold exposure is that it can reduce inflammation, which can help reduce blood flow and swelling to those injured areas. It can also help with muscle spasm and metabolic demand.
Think of how you immediately submerge a sprained ankle into ice after an injury—and how much that will help with the pain, swelling and recovery.
Now imagine doing this for your entire body.
Whether you have a serious acute injury or you are just dealing with the aches and pains of everyday exertion—this therapy can get back to you feeling like yourself.
It Can Help You Get Better Sleep.
I am very strict with my sleeping schedule because I truly believe in the benefits of getting a good night’s rest. I go to bed and get up at the exact same time, seven days a week, because I know how important it is.
However, if you are unable to get the quality rest that you need—then cold exposure therapy can help. You may have already heard about the benefits of keeping your sleeping temperatures cool, and cold exposure therapy can only help in improving your sleep cycle.
Getting good sleep will help with every other part of your life—which is why this is such a vital benefit of sleep therapy.
It Can Help Strengthen the Immune System
We all need a strong immune system—and all of the things that you do to take care of yourself, from sleeping and eating right to working out can all help that immune system. And so can cold exposure therapy.
This type of therapy can increase natural killer cell count and activity, can increase the number of white blood cells and circulating IL-6s. Basically, it can help your body maintain all of those things it needs to fight off diseases.
If you are constantly getting sick, catching colds or feel like you’re taking time off to deal with illness, you need to work on your immune system, so you can be a better, more productive version of yourself.
It Can Increase Will Power
This is probably one of my favorite reasons to go ahead and give cold exposure therapy a try. It will increase your will-power. Trust me when I say, if you can get through cold exposure therapies because you know it is good for you and your health—you will have the will power to take on even more obstacles in your future.
This is something that can help you in your everyday life, whether it is your workouts, your job, your personal relationships—will power is important.
Now that you have a few reasons to go ahead and give cold exposure therapy a try—it is time to literally take the plunge and give it a try. This is a therapy I truly believe in and one that can help change your life for the better.
If you struggle to stay focused at important times, whether you are studying for a test or trying to stay focused at work, when you are easily distracted, it can make it almost impossible to be as efficient and as effective as you want. There are so many different strategies out there to helping people stay focused, but one approach that you can try that may help with your focus lies within taking the right vitamins.
The great thing about taking vitamins to help with focus is that they can help ensure that your brain is getting everything it needs to thrive and function properly. Many times, issues with concentration don’t have to do with outside influences making it difficult to focus, but with how your body is operating from the inside.
With this in mind, there are several vitamins that you can start adding to your daily regimen that will not only help your focus and concentration, but they can also provide a number of other great benefits as well that can greatly improve your memory, brain function, overall health and well-being.
When it comes to studies regarding vitamins for the brain, there are very few vitamins that come up as much as Gingko Biloba. This vitamin comes from the leaf of the ginkgo tree from China and actually helps improve oxygen flow to the brain and helps people focus more. It is also helpful among those who have memory loss and among young people who need help with improving their concentration and their attention span.
Folate is a great vitamin for those who have issues focusing because it can help not only with focus but energy and alertness. In addition to helping maintain oxygen levels in the blood, this vitamin also helps you produce healthy blood cells. In short, folate can not only help bring up your alertness levels but it can help you with memory recall and concentration as well.
Acetyl L- Carnitine
When it comes to brain-boosting vitamins, very few can compare to Acetyl L-Carnitine. This powerful amino acid is often hailed as “Super Fuel” for the brain. This vitamin is readily available and is actually very popular among those with dementia, memory impairment and early Alzheimer’s. This is because there have been several studies that have found that this vitamin can help boost mental performance and memory.
It can also help with focus and concentration, according to several studies. It also helps increase blood flow to the brain which can be very helpful for people with poor concentration and attention spans. If you have difficulties focusing, here are some ways to minimize distractions.
When vitamin E first started to become popular, it was being used for heart disease and other related cardiovascular issues, now it is mostly used for its anti-oxidant powers and for its effect on memory. In fact, vitamin E has become extremely popular in those with Alzheimer’s and memory loss. In addition to helping with memory, vitamin E can also help boost other areas of the brain, meaning you can see better focus and concentration when you take this vitamin regularly.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
If you start taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids regularly, you are doing yourself, and your brain a major favor. These acids are known to increase brain size and help protect the heart. They can also repair damaged neuroconnections in the brain. A study on babies who have high levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet found that these children tended to have fewer concentration issues while in school. You can take these acids by taking DHA or EPA regularly, or change your diet to include more sources of natural omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3s are so powerful as a way to help with concentration and alertness that the FDA even approved prescription-strength doses of this vitamin for treatment for ADHD.
If you are struggling with focus because you feel hyper or impulsive, then you may need to start taking some zinc supplements. Zinc has been studied recently as it relates to ADHD in kids and many studies have found that children with this concentration issue actually tend to have low levels of zinc in their body. If you want to work on being more attentive and focused try adding zinc to your rotation of vitamins.
Before you start taking any vitamin, you should always speak to your health care professional first so you understand what you are taking and why you are taking it. However, in general, these vitamins are a great place to start if you want to start changing your brain’s ability to focus in a safe and natural way.
Trading online can be a very exciting practice and something that can help make any person a great deal of money right from the comfort of their own homes. However, online trading isn’t exactly simple. It can be stressful, overwhelming and it requires a great deal of focus if you want to really find success while trading online.
However, one of the biggest challenges that online traders often face when it comes to finding this type of success is learning how to minimize distractions when trading. The more focused a trader can stay, the more successful they will likely be. It may seem relatively simple, but avoiding distractions can be extremely difficult. The good news is, there are a number of ways to minimize these distractions while trading at home so you can start finding even more success with your efforts.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
If you don’t have the right tools in place, then you are setting yourself up for failure when it comes to distractions. A slow internet connection, an old platform or the wrong apps that don’t work in the way they are supposed to are all distractions. They can get you off-focus and cause you to spend your time adjusting to, fixing or messing with your tools instead of staying focused on your trades. If you don’t have the right tools, it is best for you and your ability to be productive to invest in the ones that you need.
Choose the Right Spot
When it comes to trading online, it is all about location, location, location. You need to make sure that you have the right spot to trade from. Choose a spot that is quiet, comfortable and void of distractions like appliances, televisions, magazines or anything else that may get in your way while you trade. You also need to make sure that you are paying attention to the view.
Different people have different preferences when it comes to their ideal view. Sitting by a window and being able to look outside may be calming for some people. However, others may be distracted by everything that is going on outside and around them.
Schedule Yourself Some Fun Time
The key to avoiding distractions that are “fun” is to make sure that you schedule time in your day for the fun that you enjoy. For example, if you are easily distracted by Facebook and like to get on Facebook when you need a break, then schedule a few minutes into your day just for Facebook. When you know that you have scheduled time for fun, you are less likely to have issues with having these types of distractors get in the way of your ability to stay focused.
Find the Right Time to Work
Different people have different times during the day when they are most productive. If you aren’t going to be productive during a certain time, there is no point in working or trying to get things done. Be honest with yourself and figure out what time you are most productive, then create your schedule around that peak productive time.
There is no point in trying hard to change what time you are most productive. You can want to be an early morning worker, but if you aren’t naturally an early morning person, you are not going to be your most productive in the morning, no matter how much you want to be productive. If you are most productive in the evening, then work during this time and do other things that require less attention earlier in the day.
Turn Off The Gadgets You Don’t Need
There are many gadgets, tools and programs that you are going to need while trading online, but there are also just as many tools and gadgets that you don’t really need. Turn off the things that you don’t need to use, they will only distract you. Make sure that you are honest with yourself about what gadgets that you actually need.
Keep Your Emotions Under Control
Trading is so exciting. There is such a rush that can come with making trades and earning money off of those trades. However, it is important that you learn to control your emotions and keep them in check. This is perhaps the most distracting thing that can get in the way of your trading efforts.
During a single trade, you can feel a roller coaster of emotions ranging from anxiety to fear, greed, excitement, joy, depression and anything in between. You never want to trade only on emotion. You need to learn to block off those emotions and stay focused on the strategy and system that you put in place.
If you are able to stay in control of your emotions so that you aren’t trading based off of your feelings or making decisions based off of your feelings, you are much less likely to be distracted. Blocking out emotions while trading will not only help you stay focused but it will help you train yourself to stay focused no matter what comes your way.
Keeping tips like this in mind and making sure that you are sticking to a strategy you have in place for yourself can only help you minimize distractions while you trade.
Energy drinks. They are sugar and caffeine-packed beverages that for many, are the key to making it through a long day. Whether you use them first thing in the morning or to get over that afternoon slump, there are so many people out there that rely on energy drinks each and every day. However, if you are one of the energy drink-addicted, these little power-packed cans may be way worse for you than you think.
Although they seem relatively harmless, a 16 oz. can of Red Bull alone has 52 grams of sugar. Plus, most of these energy drinks, including Red Bull, tend to only provide about an hour or so of energy, until the person who drank the beverage crashes completely. In addition to being filled with sugar, many of these energy drinks also have and exorbitant number of stimulants and caffeine in them that can cause sleep issues, increased blood pressure and even anxiety and irritability.
Most experts will agree that energy drinks are simply bad for you, no matter what brand you drink or if you decide to go with the “lower sugar” options. The good news is, there are healthy alternatives that can still help you get that extra energy that you want and may even help you get better, longer-lasting and more clean feeling energy to get you through your day.
Here are some of our healthy alternatives to energy drinks that you may want to try next time you need a little pick-me- up:
So, water may not have caffeine in it, and it may not seem like a particularly energizing liquid, but it actually may be just what your body needs to feel ready to take on the day. Many times, when we are dehydrated, our body’s natural metabolic reactions start to slow down. This often results in people feeling tired or sluggish. All of those naturally occurring metabolic reactions actually happen in water inside our body.
In short, one of the main reasons people start to feel less energy in the middle of the day is because they are simply dehydrated. Instead of reaching for sugar next time you are feeling down and sluggish, drink a few glasses of water—you may be surprised to find it was just what you needed. Besides, water is one of the best and healthiest things you can drink.
Green tea is one of those magical beverages that just seems to be filled with perks and benefits. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine in it, which can give you that boost you need, yet it has less caffeine than coffee, which gives you a more natural source of energy and less of a crash after words. Green tea has also been linked to a number of different health benefits includes faster metabolism, improved mental clarity and some studies have even found it can decrease chances of cancer and heart disease—how is that for a healthy beverage alternative?
Juicing has become extremely popular over the past few years, mostly because there is so much evidence to support how good all natural juices are for you. However, rich green juices aren’t just great for those who are dieting or looking to eat healthier—they are also great for people who need a little pick-me- up during the day as well. If you drink juices that are made of dark green leafy vegetables, you are not only getting a whole bunch of vitamins and nutrients, but you are getting a major source of B vitamins—which helps the metabolism run at its highest level.
Get your entire day started off right and beat that mid-afternoon slump by starting your morning off with one of these juices—by the time 2 o’clock rolls around, we know you will be happy you did.
Dehydration is typically the number one cause that people tend to feel sluggish during the way, but a lack of protein actually comes in a close second when it comes to fatigue. A simple solution? A hearty protein shake. This can be a great way to fill an empty stomach, give your body the nutrients it needs and to get an extra boost of energy to help you through the day.
However, in order to really take advantage of the benefits of protein shakes, you need to make yourself a real shake—not just protein powder in water. This means soy milk, yogurt, fruit, quinoa and other healthy, natural sources of protein. Blend them together and you will have something that can get you whatever mid-afternoon hump that may be getting in your way.
The ancient practice of yoga has been around for years and has helped many people get in shape, improve their flexibility and gain a better mind-body connection. There are so many different types of poses in yoga that can not only help the body but help the mind, and many people have yet to see the full potential of their practice and just what it can do to help them mentally. In fact, countless people actually use yoga as a way to help with anxiety, stress, mental alertness, memory and focus.
If you want to start using yoga as a way to refresh your mind, the good news is you don’t have to be particularly seasoned in yoga or particularly flexible either. In fact, there are several very easy yoga moves that you can do with little experience that will help refresh your mind and leave you with a new, healthy perspective.
You don’t need to know how to pronounce this pose in order to use it and to benefit from its brain-boosting powers. This simple yoga pose is meant to be held for up to four minutes at a time and it can actually help promote better brain activity.Here’s how you do it:
Sit on the floor and spread your legs forward
Adjust yourself so you are in a comfortable position and place your hands on one side
Bend forward and feel a nice stretch through your back and into your tailbone
Keep extending your hands and try to get as close to your toes as possible, where you can still hold your stretch comfortably
Breath deeply and switch sides
Child’s pose is perhaps the most simple, and relaxing pose in all of yoga. Many people use child’s pose for the back or when they need to rest, but it can be great for the brain as well. This simple mood isn’t just restorative for the muscles but for the brain as well and it can help you feel refreshed and leave your mind feeling clear.Here’s how you do it:
Sit in your knees with the tops of your feet facing down
Bring your chest towards the ground, stretching your hands as far out in front of you as you can
Keep your arms by your ears and rest into your stretch, resting your forehead on the ground or turning your head to rest your cheek on the mat
Hold the pose for several minutes, breathing deeply, until you feel your whole mind and body relaxed and reenergized
If you are looking for a pose that will help relieve fatigue, clear your mind of distractions and help you feel refocused and reenergized, then cobra is the pose for you. This is a simple yet effective pose that you can hold and breathe into for 30 seconds at a time.Here’s how you do it:
Lay on your stomach and put your palms down on either side of your chest
Tuck your elbows in towards your body
Inhale and lift your chest off the ground so it faces the wall in front of you, putting yourself into a gentle, yet comfortable backbend
Keep your shoulders strong and push the tops of your feet towards the ground. If you can’t comfortably breath into the pose lessen the bend
This is a great pose to help soothe the body and the mind and to bring peace to your life while stimulating the brain.Here’s how you do it:
Sit straight but comfortably and spread your legs forward
Take a deep breath in and place the sole of one of your feet into the opposite inner thigh, folding at the knee joint
Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath, positioning your hands on your knees
Switch sides after a few minutes
Mountain pose is a really simple, yet effective pose that helps restore balance to the body and the mind. It is very easy and something you can do with hardly any space. This is a great pose for those who feel as though stress prevents their brains from working the way they want them to.Here’s how you do it:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your legs parallel to one another
Tighten your muscles and tuck your tailbone, leave your head lifted and looking forward
Inhale deeply and fill your lungs, raise your arms above your head and keep your palms facing each other
Look straight ahead, breathe slowly and deeply hold for 30 seconds
Release your arms for 10 seconds and repeat the process several times
One of the great things about doing simple yoga poses such as these is that they can not only help boost your brain but they can help with everything from flexibility and muscle tone to posture and digestive health. Yoga is a great practice for your entire mind, body and soul and with these simple poses you can start seeing the brain benefits almost right away.
For most people, journaling is something from their past; something that they did when they were younger to recount their days or stretch their imagination. However, for those who abandoned the idea of journaling with the rest of their childhood habits, it may be time to start the process up again.
The art of free form journaling has become one of the most proven and successful forms of idea generation for today’s busy and creative minds. Even if you don’t work in a particularly creative field, journaling can help you think out loud, form ideas, clear your mind, and help set up free-flowing ideas for the rest of the day.
It is a practice that has become so popular, that different organizations such as 750Words.com are helping those who want to begin free-form journaling to start making it a daily habit. The concept was actually based on the concept of Morning Pages, as depicted in the popular Julia Cameron book, the Artist’s Way.This site in particular, brings hundreds of thousands of individuals together so they can keep each other motivated and on task with this exercise.
So, what exactly is free form journaling?
One of the most important features of free form journaling is that there is no real structure and there are no real rules. Most experts recommend writing between 500-1000 words at a time, but it can really be any length.
For those who are new to the idea of journaling, three whole pages can seem like a lot, however, with free writing, this many words can be anything at all. There is no structure. You don’t even need to write in complete sentences. You can write out ideas, names, thoughts, stories, or partial phrases.
Think of free writing as a form of meditation that requires a little more effort and delivers even more results. With free form journaling you need to hold on to your thoughts just the slightest-bit longer, bringing a little more brain power to your relaxation technique. This is a great exercise for those who appreciate the serenity and clear-mindfulness that meditation brings, but who may find it to be too simple, or who may find it juts sends them to sleep every time they let their mind relax.
If you are just getting started, here is how free form journaling works.
Give yourself a limit on time, or on length, depending on which you prefer. When you reach your limit, stop. You are done writing, even if you think you could do more.
Make sure to write quickly so you can get as many ideas out as possible, but don’t write in a hurry. Don’t pause to think or to edit or read what you have already written. Your goal is to write until you have reached your goal and to do as much writing as possible in your allotted time.
Let the grammar rules go. For those who normally obsessive over commas, style, syntax, flow and proper punctuation, let it go. You don’t need to cross your t’s and dot your I’s even. These things do not matter, all that matters is the act of writing.
As you continue to write for your allotted time, don’t worry about running out of thoughts or ideas. If one stream of thought ends, start writing on something else. The words should always be flowing. It doesn’t matter if what comes into your head is nonsense or not.
It is really that simple. Chances are you will notice some of the parallels to meditation, and as soon as you begin implanting free form writing into your everyday routine you will see why free journaling has become so popular. If you are nervous about getting started and feel as though you won’t be able to write that long 750Words.com has a great little trick for those new to the practice.
If you are bored or uncomfortable with writing, what you’re writing about or this exercise in general, ask yourself why and start writing about that. It can be as simple as “I’m bored because I don’t like writing,” but it is a great way to start getting the thoughts flowing.
Many individuals who start participating in this daily exercise are shocked by the thoughts and ideas that come from their subconscious. They are thrilled with the mental clarity that their daily activities bring and they are often able to come up with new thoughts, ideas and solutions that they never thought were possible before.
While you may not be a writer, or particularly creative for that matter, or aspiring to create the next great American novel, it doesn’t mean that free form journaling isn’t for you. Push yourself, give it a try and see first-hand the way this activity can clear your mind.