Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do This For 10 (Easy) Minutes And Improve Your Entire Day

Our bodies weren’t designed for our modern lifestyle.

We were never meant to sit behind desks for half our waking hours, nor were we intended to spend more time in a car than on our feet.

Most of us don’t get enough fresh air, sunshine and exercise and it’s having a profound impact on our confidence, energy levels and health.

Worse, it’s a self perpetuating problem. The less you move, the less energy you have to get going. Even if you know from experience that a bit of exercise will make you feel immeasurably better, you probably have a difficult time managing that first step.

If you can find a way to incorporate as little as 10 minutes of active movement into your morning routine, you’ll find your days will run smoother and be less stressful. Plus, you’ll have more energy and a more positive mood.

Keep in mind, this can be as simple as taking a 10 minute walk or doing a short yoga or stretching routine. Just getting up and moving for 10 minutes can:

● Increase blood flow throughout your body, including to your brain.

● Release your body from any aches and pains you might have incurred during the night while sleeping.

● Reduce stress levels.

● Increase energy levels.

● Rev up your metabolism

If possible, it’s best to get this exercise. But even if you can’t, you’ll still reap the benefits. Here are some easy ideas for getting more movement into your morning routine. There is bound to be one that you’ll enjoy and can work into your day:

● Walk or bike to work.

● Take your dog for a short walk

● Walk or bike with your children to school.

● Take a short jog around the neighborhood.

● Turn on some music and dance!

● Yoga

● Other stretching exercises

● Jumping jacks

● Sit ups and push ups

● Some moderately heavy housework such as mopping and sweeping.

● A quick swim

● Pulling weeds

● Shoveling snow

● Going up and down the stairs

The idea isn’t to get a full body workout (although that’s certainly an option if you have the time!), it’s to start your day off right by getting your blood flowing and loosening up your muscles and joints.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when building a bridge between your old broken habits and your new ones; you’ll have to make it a point to do it every day until it becomes a normal part of your routine. You can help things along by:

● Choosing activities you genuinely enjoy. If you hate running, it will be far more difficult to stick with it than if you picked something you enjoy more, such as simple calisthenics.

● Try enlisting your spouse, roommates, children or friends to do it alongside you. It’s harder to cheat (or skip) when you know your walking buddy or yoga partner is waiting for you.

● Keep things as simple as possible. Your gym might have a wonderful pool, but if it’s inconvenient for you to use first thing in the morning, you’ll have difficulty developing a habit.

● Focus on how much better you feel. Keep a journal and note the many improvements in your life. Don’t feel as though only the big victories are worth noting. Even something as simple as having less stress and hostility while driving will make your life better in the long run.

Just 10 minutes of movement every morning is enough to help you gain energy, increase confidence, be more positive, manage stress and feel better physically. Once you get into the habit of incorporating movement into your morning routine, you’ll find the positive effects snowball and it will be easier to make good choices about eating, exercising and taking care of yourself in general.

Don’t put off getting started, this is something you can do tomorrow and start reaping the rewards right away.


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