Archive for August, 2014

13
Aug
14

Boost Your Workout with Music

Many of us listen to music when we exercise, but studies have shown that not only does music make our workouts more enjoyable, but it improves them as well.

  • One of the main benefits of listening to music when exercising is distraction – when we have the music to listen to, we don’t focus as much on any physical discomforts. Motivating music has been shown to increase our willingness to work harder, while at the same time our perception is that we are working less hard.
  • A steady beat allows us to maintain our rhythm while we move, which helps us use our energy more efficiently.
  • Music can elevate your mood, which might make your workout seem a little less daunting.
  • Music makes you want to move. Getting into the groove can stimulate your motor system, and you might start moving whether you planned to or not!
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06
Aug
14

Reclaim Your Mornings

For a lot of us, weekday mornings are consumed with getting out of bed, getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school, grabbing something for breakfast, and running out the door hoping you haven’t forgotten anything important. But mornings are actually an opportune time to get quality things done and get your day off to a calm, methodical start.

Time management expert Laura Vanderkam says she sees gaps of 90 minutes or more between when people wake up and when they leave the house. She says we can streamline our breakfast, personal care and kid routines in order to reclaim some of this time for personal priorities.

1. Family time. Have a 30-minute, sit-down breakfast with your family. You can discuss everyone’s schedule for the day, make plans and check in with everyone. If family dinners are hard to coordinate, breakfasts can be especially important.

2. Exercise. By the time you get home at night, you’re often tired, still need to fix dinner, and you may have functions to go to in the evening. Exercise can fall down the priority list quickly. But if you get up and do it first thing, it can’t fall off the list. Plus, it gives you a boost of energy, revs up your metabolism for the day and improves the quality of sleep.

3. Personal hobbies. Again, evening fatigue can put our hobbies on the backburner, so Vanderkam suggests going to bed early a few nights a week and getting up early to spend some time doing something fun you enjoy before the day gets away from you.

4. Think. In the morning, your mind is fresh and uncluttered with happenings of the day. Take the time to think about the big-picture and strategize. Or you can try meditating, journaling or reading inspirational material.

Any of these activities, Vanderkam says, will help you start your day in a much better place than if you hit the snooze button too many times and start off in a time crunch.