positivity

How Exercise Increases Energy And Vitality

One of the most prized things among seniors and, likewise, one of the hardest things to achieve is a renewed sense and feeling of youth. Energy, vitality, and physical agility are difficult to hold on to as we age, but not impossible with exercise.

When you introduce healthy and positive habits into your regular routine, you can begin feeling younger and have greater energy in no time. By maintaining both a physically and socially active lifestyle you can greatly improve your overall quality of life during your golden years, making them feel truly golden.

 

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Boost your confidence and mood

While exercise is just a small chunk of recovery, it provides a host of health benefits that aren't just physical. In fact, engaging in exercise on a consistent basis has been found to improve mood, increase happiness, and boost productivity! Who knew that hitting the gym a few times a week could be as effective as a therapy session?

In addition, exercise has been known to make individuals feel a sense of calm and relief. This control helps them deal with their everyday challenges without getting overwhelmed. If you're looking for ways to improve your self-development and seek happiness, check out why and how exercise is a great tool to implement into your recovery routine.

1. Get a proven mood boost with exercise 

When you exercise, your brain releases dozens of hormones that contribute to your happiness. Of those hormones, endorphins and serotonin are the primary ones. 

The hormones regulate your mood and help you to balance your emotions. In fact, healthy doses of serotonin increase your happiness! Because of this biological boost, many doctors suggest engaging in some form of physical activity to increase the production of these hormones.

2. Feel more confident

Sure, exercising on a regular basis and eating well contribute to a nice physical appearance. That's partly one of the main reasons why people exercise so often. However, did you know that regular exercise can make you feel confident, productive, and accomplished.  

Exercise isn't an easy task. If it was, more people would enjoy doing it. But, by pushing yourself to overcome your physical limitations and hit the gym, you give yourself an immediate boost of confidence. 

Tackling those heavy weights or finally being able to run a mile on the treadmill are awesome accomplishments you can be proud of. And as you continue going, your strength and stamina will increase. This will make better equipped to tackle other challenges in and out of the gym.

3. You feel better about yourself

When you aren't happy with your outward appearance, it's hard to feel confident on a regular basis. Exercise not only improves your strength; it also improves how you look physically. When you begin to see progress, you begin to feel a sense of success and confidence.

Having a healthy sense of self-confidence helps you to develop lasting relationships with others and yourself. You're automatically happier which obviously results in an increased mood. 

Aging is not ‘Lost Youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
— Betty Friedan

Choosing exercise that fits your abilities and lifestyle

There are countless different forms of exercise such as cycling, kickboxing, yoga, CrossFit, Zuu workouts and so many more. When it comes to choosing a type of exercise to stay active, most people think of the popular and fancy workouts like Zumba, P90X, etc.

Little thought is given to walking as a form of exercise. It is often disparaged and thought of as an activity that is reserved for senior citizens. However, there are many health benefits that can be gained from walking daily.

It’s one of the best exercises on the planet, it needs no special equipment, and our bodies have evolved over centuries to benefit from regular walks.

1.   The impact on your body is low

Walking is a low-impact activity that won’t wear out your joints. Unlike running, kickboxing or other high-impact activities that can make your joints ache, walking is a lot more forgiving on your body.

2.   The low intensity nature allows it to be done daily

It’s a low-intensity exercise that will not tax your central nervous system like CrossFit or some of the more vigorous forms of exercise. With high intensity interval training (HIIT), you may need to take a one-day break after every workout because of the demands it places on your body. Walking is much more relaxing in comparison and can be done daily.

3.   The versatility is almost endless

Walking can be applied to many different areas in your life. You could easily walk to the mall and back, if it’s within walking distance or walk in the mall on a cold or rainy day. Driving to work? Park your car a block away and walk to your office.

There are social benefits when walking with a friend and you can inject a bit of competition to rev up the walk. The more you walk, the better.

Thousands of people wear Fitbits to track the number of steps they take daily. You’d easily meet your daily quota if you walked for 30 to 45 minutes a day.

4.   Walk your weight off

Walking may seem like a humble exercise, but it can help you lose the pounds if you’re consistent. Going for a 30 to 45-minute walk daily on an empty stomach will help your body tap into its fat stores for fuel because its low on glycogen.

This is a very effective way to lose weight. Thousands of people shirk exercise because they fear the exertion and exhaustion involved. Walking is easy enough to do and help you achieve your weight loss goal. It may take longer than more rigorous training methods, but you’ll still get there.

5.   Stress be gone

Walking will help you to relieve stress. This is especially true if you walk in a park or some picturesque setting. Walking allows you time to calm yourself and get in touch with your thoughts.

You do not need to focus on good form or train to failure like you would with resistance training. Walking is a natural form of movement and therapeutic to your soul. Walking will also aid in digestion and improve your blood circulation. It will improve your cardiovascular strength and boost your immune system.

If you walk in the sun, you’ll get your daily dose of vitamin D. Thousands of people are deficient in vitamin D and it causes them to feel lethargic and depressed. Walking will lift your moods by ensuring that you get natural vitamin D in your system. Don’t forget to wear your sunblock.

Conclusion

By now you’ll realize that walking is an activity that’s so useful it can’t be neglected. Even if you focus most of your training on hardcore activities like HIIT or weightlifting, on your off days, you can have an active rest day.

What that means is that you can go for a 30-minute walk and call it a day. The walking will help to soothe sore muscles because of the increased blood circulation, and it’s also light enough to not tax your body but still burn a few calories so that it’s easier to stay lean and fit.

I hope you found some useful information in this post. I would appreciate it if you share it with someone you care about.

Do You Feel Your Gratitude?

Gram’s Wisdom Installment 2

My Gram left me after more than a hundred years of living, with an abundance of wisdom and advice. The kind of wisdom all grandmothers want to share if they are blessed with the time and opportunity to do so. Much of this may be known to you, some things you might have forgotten. I hope these bits of homey wisdom spark either memories from your youth or better yet conversations with your own grandchildren.

What are you feeling grateful for today?

I spent many weekends with my grandparents as a child and continued to live nearby as I became an adult. When we would meet Gram would always tell me what she felt grateful for that day. She would say she woke up that morning feeling gratefulness for… or that during the course of the day something occurred for which she felt gratitude. She always displayed her appreciation and gratitude for the good people and things that were a part of her life.

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What a difference a little gratitude makes

Gratitude simplified is appreciating the good things in your life. When you are focused on what is good in your life you have less time to dwell on the bad. It doesn’t always seem this simple, though. When things are hectic or stressful, finding the silver lining can be challenging. However, learning how to express gratitude can significantly boost your happiness.  

About gratitude

There are many definitions of gratitude. Some people believe it’s a feeling or emotion. Others look at it as more of a mood. Still, other people believe gratitude is a personality trait a person exhibits. These are all correct. In essence, gratitude elicits satisfaction and appreciation in a person through feelings, actions or even inherent qualities. However, even those of us who may be more inclined to feel grateful on a regular basis may need to work on evoking such an outlook. Gratitude can be viewed as a practice or something you perform regularly. Most people practice something because it benefits them. This is true of gratitude. As with other practices, you’ll get better at demonstrating gratitude the more you work at it.

Benefits of embracing gratitude

There are many benefits of gratitude; many of them have been scientifically proven. Once you begin to understand these, chances are good that you’ll see why it’s so important to develop a grateful mindset. Gratitude can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Research has shown it improves relaxation, sleep quality and energy levels. Being thankful for your blessings can enhance your emotional wellness. You’ll deal better in crisis situations and find you’re more resilient when you’re able to look on the bright side. This can contribute to better relationships, too. Appreciating the positives in life can simply make you feel happier.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day

Ways to practice gratitude

Recognizing your blessings may not come easily at first, but there are some ways to help make it a habit and a regular part of your routine. One of the most convenient and impactful methods for cultivating appreciation is through keeping a gratitude journal. Write down three things each day that you’re grateful for, which makes it easier to notice and recognize those good things. Making an effort to thank someone each day, for even the smallest thing, opens your eyes and heart to abundance. Giving back and doing good for others can provide tremendous perspective, as well.

Embracing and expressing gratitude are more important than many of us realize. So, what do you feel grateful for today?

I would be grateful if you share this post with someone who will find it beneficial.

Tips For Developing Your Daily Optimism

 Negative Thoughts Sap Your Optimism


Despite your best intentions, it’s not always easy to take an optimistic view of life. Negative thinking can creep into your mind, and before you realize it, your mindset is sabotaging you.

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1.     Comparing your life with others

Try to avoid comparing your life and achievements with other people. Your life has a value of its own. You can be sure that if you envy your friends or colleagues weddings, PhDs, babies, or luxury holidays, other people envy your accomplishments too.

2.     Having negative self-worth

Do a quick review of your self-talk. Chances are there will be quite a few negatives in there. Practice catching yourself the next time you start thinking badly of yourself. You can do without that kind of self-sabotage!

3.     Thinking you don’t have time

We all get the same amount of time. Twenty-four/seven is the maximum, so make sure you use your time to do the things you want to do, as well the things you must do. If you have a pet project or skill you want to learn, then prioritize it in your schedule.

4.     Underestimating yourself

You can do pretty much whatever you want. Deciding that you can’t do something before you even try is de-energizing and demotivating. What is your secret, passionate goal? What do you need to do to get there?  

5.     Using delaying tactics

There are a whole bunch of sneaky delaying tactics that on the surface appear to be good sense. Saving a certain amount of money, or losing weight before you try a new project, is just another way of saying you can’t do it now.

6 Ways to Cultivate Optimism Each Day

You might be surprised to hear that optimism is not an innate quality. Optimism and pessimism are ways of looking at yourself and the world through a positive or negative filter.  Once you think of them as reflections of your mindset, it becomes much easier to believe you can change. Like any new behavior, you need to practice every day for it to become a habit.  

1.     Keep a journal

Journaling or keeping a diary allows you to process events and to get a different perspective on them. It encourages self-reflection and captures insights into your thinking and behavior. You can write down what happened during your day and document, not just the bald facts but how you did it, what you did to make it happen and what you did right. And, importantly, how it felt while you were doing it. Don’t just record the good things (a promotion, a presentation or meeting that went well), remember to write down the thing that didn’t go so well and reflect on what happened, how you dealt with it, and what you might do differently next time.

2.     Laugh

Consciously notice the funny side of things and write them down. If the technology didn’t work, and you had to give the presentation without the slide deck, or the power went out, or there was a fire drill in the middle of your crucial meeting. What can seem like a disaster at the time can also be looked back on as a comedy of errors.

3.     Write to your future

Write a letter or a journal entry that sets out the future you want. What job are you doing? Are you running your own business? What have you learned? What has changed? Imagining how your future life looks and feels can be a powerful motivator.

4.     Keep a kindness list

Have a page in your journal where you note down kind gestures. Write down when you are kind to someone, or when someone is kind to you. Even little things count, like opening a door for someone or letting them go first in the line for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they mount up, and your ever-lengthening list will give you a different perspective on things.

5.     Say thank you

Write a letter or email, phone or visit someone (a person outside your family) who has been genuinely kind to you. Tell them how much you appreciate what they did or said and how it has affected your life.

6.     Choose positivity

Make the positive choice to develop and maintain an optimistic outlook. Do this every morning when you wake up. Decide that today is going to be a great day. Everyone will have some level of suffering in their life. Choosing to be optimistic will make it easier to bounce back from the bad times and to enjoy and be certain of the good times.


Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects.
— Norman Cousins

5 Benefits of Daily Optimism

 

There is increasing evidence that being optimistic about life has measurable benefits, not just for your mental health, but your physical well-being too. Scientific studies have shown that as you become more optimistic, your life will improve in all sorts of ways. You’re even likely to have a longer life, just from being more hopeful and positive.

1.     Optimists are healthier

Optimists not only rate their own health and well-being as better, but studies have also shown that optimists have better mental and physical health than pessimists. In a study of the effects of positive psychological well-being, optimism was found to be the biggest predictor of improved heart health. Optimists also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol and a lower risk of developing heart disease.

2.     Optimists live longer

A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that of the 100,000 women studied over eight years, optimists were less likely to die from any cause than women with a more pessimistic outlook.  That was confirmed by a later Harvard study that showed the women who had a positive outlook had a much lower risk (nearly 30% less) of dying from serious illnesses.

3.     Optimists are happier

It might seem obvious that an optimist would be happier than a pessimist. But, it has been shown that optimists are not just sunnier in their dispositions, but they are measurably happier in their relationships, jobs, and life in general. They deal better with stress, are more resilient in bad times, and produce less cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to inflammation and a lowered immune system.

4.     Optimists have smoother career paths

Researchers from Duke University found that the optimistic MBA graduates they studied were more likely to find a job, earn a higher starting salary, and have more frequent promotions than the pessimists in the group. Optimists also deal better with negative feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to improve and increase their chance of promotion in the future.

5.     Optimists roll with the punches

Life’s adversities do not crush an optimist; they remain hopeful about the future. Optimism helps you deal with whatever limiting beliefs you have developed and shows you a way out. Being positive about life’s possibilities means you focus on what you can do. It boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to look for constructive solutions. It stops you feeling stuck or at the mercy of other people. If you’re optimistic, you know you can do it!

4 Tips to Develop Daily Optimism

 

Optimism is a learned skill like any other skill or habit you want to develop. Having an optimistic attitude of yourself, of life and the world can have a huge impact on your mental well-being and resilience, even boosting your immune system and lowering your blood pressure. Studies have shown that optimists have better career prospects and live longer happier lives. 

1.     Identify as an optimist

Self-talk is powerful! Start telling people you’re an optimist, and you’ll soon begin to believe it, and forget you were ever even slightly pessimistic. It never hurts to Act How You Want to Feel.

2.     Accentuate the positives

Notice and acknowledge the positive things around you. Small things like having good food, clean water, and being able to read this article for example. A good exercise is to list ten things you’re grateful for every day – they don’t have to be big things, jot down whatever comes to mind.  

3.     Shift your focus

Optimism is dynamic and forward-looking. Develop a more optimistic outlook by moving on from the past and instead enjoy the present and actively look forward to the future. Optimists also don’t spend much time dwelling on whatever not-so-good things are in their lives. They acknowledge that bad things happen to everyone, and when bad things do happen, it’s not necessarily their fault. Bad times come, and bad times go, it can’t rain forever. And, good times usually happen just as often.

4.     Don’t get hung up on one outcome

Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky, and it’s highly likely you will be disappointed. It’s also harder to pick up and move on if things don’t work out. An optimist will be flexible about outcomes and see that there are many different ones.

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