Showing posts with label Hobbies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hobbies. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 September 2022

5 Choices That Support Mental Health


When a person suffers from a mental health illness, such as depression or anxiety, the first-line treatments are usually mental therapies and medicines. What isn't always talked about are the variable lifestyle choices that affect our mental health. 

 

According to Psychology Today, "That’s a lamentable oversight because lifestyle changes—things as simple as nutrition and exercise—can have a significant impact on quality of life, for any of us, but especially for those dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. They can also help minimize the development of risk factors that can lead to conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, all of which are seen at higher rates in those with mental illness, the study noted."

 

Making beneficial life choices can be uplifting. While time and financial constraints may restrict a few people's capacities to make such choices, we all can make small but significant changes.

 

Here Are Five Lifestyle Choices To Get You Started:

 

1. Make Healthy Diet Choices

 

According to studies, our diet can impact our mental health, both positively and negatively. According to new research from the University of Warwick, fruits and vegetables are associated with improved mental health. 

 

This is significant because mental well-being—feelings of enthusiasm, joy, self-esteem, and resilience—can help to safeguard not only against mental health issues but also physical illnesses.

 

2. Cut Back On Your Vices

 

Managing problem drinking or substance abuse is a no-brainer in terms of both mental and physical health. People with alcohol and drug problems are more likely than the general population to suffer from a mental illness, and their health outcomes are far worse. 

 

According to the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA,

 

In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (2020 NSDUH)

 

Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61.6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)

 

According to the WebMD, side effects of alcohol consumption include:

 

  • Worsening of mental health after the calm feeling fades
  • Hangovers including headaches and nausea and vomiting
  • Post-alcohol anxiety and/or depression

 

3. Spend Time In Quiet

 

We live in a noisy world. When we are outside, we are encircled by cars honking and public noises created by individuals, and the general hustle and bustle of the surroundings. When we are inside all day, such as at a desk, we are encircled by sounds from dialogues, texting, cell phones, office equipment, and so on. 

 

We also have noises from TVs or radios inside our homes. Our phones are always buzzing, with notifications and of course the very loud call of social media. 

 

Getting some quiet private time can do wonders for our mental health. This will result in more focused thoughts throughout the day. You can even try meditation, which promotes mental health.

 

4. Use Stress Reduction Methods

 

Mental illness sustains stress, and stress sustains mental illness. Taking measures to reduce stress in your life can help to break this destructive cycle. 

 

According to LifeHack, "There are many forms of stress. People do not even realize they suffer from stress. Still, the buildup of small and regular negative thoughts and energy could negatively impact your mental and even physical health. Stress can cause poor mental health in various disorders such as depression and anxiety, personality changes, bipolar disorder, problem behaviors, cognitive (thinking) problems, etc."

 

Effective Stress Management Techniques:

 

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Rest and relaxation
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Deep Breathing
  • Eliminating sources of great stress
  • Distractions
  • Tai Chi
  • Unplug
  • Spend time doing things that bring you joy

 

5. Discuss Your Problem With Someone

 

If you have things or an issue on your mind, getting it off your chest can help you a lot. It is important to remember that desiring assistance implies strength, not weakness. It has been said that an issue that is partially shared is an issue that is half solved. 

 

When you suppress negative or hurtful thoughts, such as frustration, your mental health suffers. You will feel stressed and tense, and you may not get enough sleep at night. These emotions accumulate quickly, resulting in a somewhat desperate state that you cannot resist, such as depression or stomach ulcers.



Sunday, 5 June 2022

Do You Feel Guilty for Having Interests or Hobbies of Your Own?


The hustle culture surrounding you can sometimes make you feel guilty for having interests or hobbies of your own, especially if it takes you away from your career or your family. 

 

Sadly, this is truer for women than for men, but sadly, men are also catching up to being overworked like most women are these days. 

 

If you feel guilty for having interests or hobbies of your own, it's important to realize that well-rounded people have more than one passion, don't see non-money-making tasks as unproductive, and recognize the benefits of having more than one interest. 


You're Not Obligated to One Passion 

 

Over a lifetime, one person can have hundreds of passion projects and learning experiences related to having and developing interests and hobbies outside of their immediate job, family, or social circle. 

 

While you may not want to pursue too many hobbies at once due to finances and time, you don't have to stick to just one, and you don't have to stick to one your entire lifetime. It's okay to pursue one interest for a few months or years and then drop it for a while to do something else. 


You Don't Owe Anyone "Productivity" 

 

One issue that comes up for some people who want to pursue a hobby or an interest that is new to them is that they start to feel as if they're not productive enough. But here is the thing, your entire life is not about productivity. Sometimes your life is just about being and doing something you enjoy. There is value in doing things outside of building relationships, making money, and being consistent. 

 

Redefine productivity in your mind to do anything beneficial for yourself, not just for others, and not just to pad your bank account. You don't need to monetize every interest or hobby to make them worthwhile in your eyes or someone else's. 

 

The value of the hobby or interest may be intangible or something you can name. But the main thing that a hobby or interest needs to be is something you like to do that fills you with contentment and not something that adds stress to your life. 


There Are Many Benefits to Having More Interests 

 

Every interest or hobby you have offers benefits outside of what most people see as valuable. For example, a hobby or interest costs money and does not make money, and for some people may feel as if it's wasteful. 

 

However, if you have the budget for the hobby and the time for the hobby, and that hobby makes you feel good, the benefits it offers to help you build your self-esteem, feel more confident, and learn new things are also important. 

 

Having interests and hobbies outside of what you are doing now is a great thing to do if you have the time and the budget to do it. However, if you don't want to do these things, find a way to generate the income and free up the time to make it happen. You'll soon find that the benefits far exceed the costs.



6 Tips For A Joyful Retirement


Retirement blesses us with time to do what we truly desire. We’re free to follow our hearts true desire and find joy while doing so. However, finding joy in retirement goes beyond finding a beach house to recline or having more free time than you know what to do with it. Here are 6 important tips for a joyful retirement.

 

1. Cut Spending By Budgeting

 

A lot has been said concerning money and happiness. While money doesn’t equate to happiness, its one vital component for a joyful retirement. A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College on what makes retirees happy reaffirms the importance of money. 

 

Most people go on a spending spree the minute they get their retirement money and then end up without a penny few months later. You need to budget your money and spend wisely as there wouldn’t be any monthly pay checks anymore. 

 

2. Maintain a Daily Routine

 

Indeed, one of retirement’s most enticing benefits is the freedom to do whatever you desire. However, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy pattern which might be detrimental to your health. To prevent this, doctors recommend following a healthy daily routine. 

 

Incorporate all the activities you love into the routine as well as other healthy activities recommended by your doctor. Doing this would help you avoid the feeling of purposelessness most retirees admit to feeling few months into retirement.

 

3. Stay in Touch

 

study by the University of Chicago showed that extreme loneliness increases a retiree’s chances of early death by as much as 14%. Being retired takes you out of the majority of your social networks and cuts down on the amount of human connection we make daily. 

 

Extra effort should be put into staying in touch with a thriving social community as the effects of extreme loneliness can be deadly. This can be your family, former colleagues, Faith groups, group affiliations, or by community volunteering.

 

4. Stay Active

 

Very different from staying in touch, staying active entails playing a role. It can be in the family, your house of faith or the community. Staying active offers a twofold benefit as it helps you socialize and gives you a sense of purpose. Doctors say both are vital to the happiness and well-being of a retiree.

 

5. Stay Fit By Exercising 

 

While exercise is important at all periods in our lives, it’s even more necessary when you’re retired. Exercising the body is important to both your physical and mental well-being. Research has shown that frequent exercise helps wards off several health issues and boosts your energy levels. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends four types of exercise for retirees.

 

6. Train Your Brain

 

Most people go into retirement thankful for the endless hours of free time they’ll have and anticipating just how they’ll spend those hours. Most might decide to pursue an abandoned hobby, read books, or learn new things. 

 

These lofty aspirations most times get abandoned a few months into retirement. However, researchers at the Harvard Medical School have proven several times that tasking your brain has unending benefits. It keeps your memory strong and keeps your brain functioning at high levels.

 

This can be reading a book, painting, doing puzzles, or learning a new skill. Asides the apparent benefit of tasking your brain, the joy and sense of progress when you chase these pursuits has its own benefits. 

 

You could join a community or group that shares similar passions and enjoy create new social connections. A group has the added advantage of pushing you past your comfort zone which is great for stimulating the brain.

 

It’s possible to have a joyful retirement. All it requires is some effort to continually do the right thing. When you make these correct lifestyle choices, you’ll be set to enjoy a joyful retirement filled with happiness and purpose.

 


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Becoming an Avid Reader (Infographic)



Monday, 11 April 2022

Does Your Fitness Band Really Work? (Infographic)



Which Activity Tracker is Right for You? (Infographic)



 

Wearable Tech & Preventive Healthcare (Infographic)

 


Health Trackers: A Day of Counting Steps & Calories (Infographic)

 


What's a fitness tracker?


Technological advancement has given rise to many smart applications that not only improve efficiency but also make tracking and monitoring of different activities easier. It's always important to monitor your progress as far as your health and fitness regimen is concerned. A fitness tracker is therefore that application or device used in tracking and monitoring fitness goals. It measures metrics such as distance run or walked, rate of heartbeat, calories consumed and sometimes even the quality of your sleep. Most of these tracking devices are wirelessly synchronized to a smartphone or computer for the purposes of regular data tracking and reporting. 

In many cases, people have fitness goals or targets, whether monthly or on a daily basis, that they hope to achieve. Monitoring the progress of your fitness regimen can be a challenge especially if you are not a certified fitness trainer or health practitioner. Fitness tracking devices give you the capability to monitor your progress and determine how far you are from meeting your targets, or if indeed you achieved or exceeded them. Most of them are wearable and can also serve as regular digital watches. Some people wear them as accessories because of their fashion forward designs. These devices have become so main stream that some firms have decided to use them in encouraging consumers to live healthily. 

The electronic fitness trackers are basically an advanced version of pedometers. Apart from counting steps, they also use accelerometers to determine distance covered, graph general physical activity and calculate calorie usage. In some cases they also keep track of and graph quality of sleep and heart rate. As you go about your fitness routines, there are various activities that you engage in such as walking, running, swimming, jogging, bike rides and normal house chores. It is important that you stay true to your goals and monitor your progress because that is the only way you'll be able to achieve your objectives. 

A fitness tracker is an ideal way to easily monitor your activity with great accuracy. You can imagine it to be an electronic finger on your pulse, measuring your vitals on a regular basis. These trackers have made use of the latest technology to enable fitness enthusiasts monitor their activities and keep track of their progress. Most people spend so much time on their smartphones or tablets which is why fitness trackers are synchronized with these devices for report displays. Trackers can also be connected to social media apps like Facebook but one has to be careful since there are some instances when private information has ended up in the internet and public domain. There are different trackers available in the market and people can therefore make buying decisions based on prices, functionality and personal style.

 


How to Stay Motivated and Achieve Your Fitness Goals


Success mostly comes through hard work and determination. A lot of people begin fitness programs and then fall off mid-way through the journey. Even with a fitness tracker that monitors your progress, it is difficult to realize your goals if you are not prepared to go the whole distance. How can you stay motivated and maintain a robust exercise routine? This is the question that a lot of people grapple with when they start exercising and realize that it is not some walk in the park. Results will only come through consistent hard work. These are some of the ways in which you can stick to your fitness goals in order to achieve any meaningful results. 

Set Fitness goals that mean something

Why do you want to keep fit? Do you want to have the ability to choose your clothes from a huge selection? Is it because you want to have the strength to play with your kids? Establish a fitness goal that actually means something to you and work towards achieving it. Some people simply want to stay healthy for their loved ones. What matters most is that you set goals that have great meaning in your life. This will help you push yourself even when the going gets tough. 

Have a source of motivation

You can be motivated to exercise by the possible end results. Think of how much your life will change for the better when you stay fit. Use this to push yourself in order to achieve meaningful results. Your source of motivation can also be your fitness goals. What is it that offers you encouragement or makes you want to succeed whenever you feel like giving up on your fitness regimen? Answering that question will help you stay focused and achieve your fitness goals. 

Consequences of not exercising

What are the consequences of not exercising? Think of all the health complications that may arise as a result of not living a healthy lifestyle. The concern for your health should be enough to help you maintain fidelity to your fitness routine. There are many health complications that come with staying unfit and that should be enough to make you want to exercise. 

Find a support group

Having a strong support system is very important in your quest to exercise on a regular basis. Your family members, colleagues and friends can provide a strong support network that would come in handy when you feel like giving up or deviating from your set goals and objectives. Lean on them for support and find the strength and motivation to carry on. Training in a group and competing against one another can also give you a strong support network.

These are some of the ways in which you can stay focused and maintain a regular fitness program. It's never easy to exercise, quite honestly most people hate it but the benefits of staying fit are many and very important. With time it becomes fun and a normal part of your everyday life. Living a healthy life is very fulfilling and joyous.

 


Fitness Trackers: How Effective Are They?


Health and fitness trackers have become very popular as consumers concerned about health and fitness use them to monitor their work-outs and physical activity. They consider them as ideal tools for improving their lifestyles by staying fit and keeping healthy. There are different fitness trackers that vary on functionality and even brand. Seeing that these gadgets have become so common, the biggest question then is: how effective are they? Every consumer wants to get value for money and so they'll be looking to purchase items that can fully serve them. 

In looking at how effective fitness trackers really are, it is important to dwell on their functionality and then check whether they meet the buyers' expectations. 

More data capturing 

Most smartphone fitness apps do not capture as much data as a fitness tracker can. Some fitness trackers are designed to collect extra data such as the rate of your heartbeat during physical activities or the cadence of a runner and time of contact between foot and ground. The extra functionalities of fitness trackers make them worth the cost because consumers will get value for money. For example, some fitness trackers possess smartphone features like push notifications. These gadgets basically collect data, analyze them and present them in a way that users can make comparisons and evaluate progress. It is difficult to determine the effectiveness of your fitness program without a simple way to gather data.

Motivation

From a psychological point of view, simply wearing a fitness tracker can be a great source of motivation for individuals looking to stay healthy and keep fit. There are those who are very much motivated by data, a key feature of fitness tracking devices. Just by reading their physical activity figures, they can find sufficient drive to meet and exceed their fitness targets. People draw inspiration and find motivation from different quarters. Some people find exercising with friends ideal while others are driven by life goals like looking awesome at a wedding.

Healthcare transformation

This technology has greatly transformed healthcare by making it possible to monitor the progress of patients without necessarily hospitalizing them. Monitoring of important medical aspects of patients like body temperatures, rates of heartbeat, muscle motions as well as other critical data can be effectively done using these gadgets. In sports training, trackers are used to measure sweat rate which could only be done through lab-based systems some few years ago. It is common to see athletes wearing fitness trackers as they go about their daily training routines because of their effectiveness in monitoring physical activity. 

These are all key reasons that indicate the effectiveness of fitness tracking devices. They have great functionalities which serve to meet the expectations of consumers, a major requirement for any product in the current business environment. When all is said and done, it still comes down to the ability of an individual to put the collected data into use. The results will not come until you put in some good work. The trackers are supposed to aid you in your work-outs, the real work is done by yourself.

 


Why is it Important to Keep Fit?


It is very important to keep fit and stay healthy. A lot of people fail to acknowledge the numerous benefits of exercise routines and only begin to do so when health complications arise. Why then is it important to stay fit?

Burning of excess fat

Regular exercises will help you burn excess body fat and keep your body lean. There are many health complications associated with having too much body fat. Heart diseases that are often very fatal are mostly as a result of excess body fat. The fats can clog arteries and overwork the heart which can then result into a lot of health complications. Stroke and heart attack are just some of the health risks that arise as a result of excess body fat. 

Great physique

A lot of overweight people struggle with issues of body image yet they are not willing to do anything about it. Sometimes you see very nice clothes and you can't fit into them because of your body size. Fitness exercises will help you develop a great physique by shedding excess fat and gaining a great body. Exercising will help you get rid of cellulite and have a flat tummy. Weightlifting, a part of fitness exercise routines, is ideal for gaining muscles and molding a great body. 

Mental strength

Exercising keeps you sharp and alert at all times. It's very ideal for developing your mental strength and increasing your level of awareness. Keeping your body active also improves the functioning of the brain. There is a reason why most athletes are usually happy. Exercising improves clarity of mind and through the release of dopamine, it changes your mood for the better. Maybe the reason why you stay grumpy all the time is due to lack of exercise. Run around the blocks each morning, jog or lift weights and see how much good it does to your mind.

Building of physical strength

Fitness exercises are ideal for strength building. Regular exercise routines will build body muscles and improve your physical strength. They are also important in strengthening your back for good postures. People generally become less active as they grow older. This can be a very big challenge especially when you have small kids that expect you to play with them. Fitness routines will help you gain the much needed strength and agility to keep up with the youthful exuberance of your children. Exercising also slows down the aging process by tightening your skin and increasing your body's metabolic rate. 

These are just some of the benefits of having a robust fitness routine. A lot of people ignore them only to start developing lifestyle diseases later in life. Exercising is very important and some of the consequences of not engaging in fitness routines are catastrophic. How can you drive yourself to exercise and maintain a disciplined fitness schedule? Having fitness goals that actually mean something to you will help you develop a disciplined fitness routine and achieve your desired result. Using fitness trackers, you can monitor your general physical activity and evaluate your progress.

 


Simple Ways To Stay Fit


Some people imagine that exercising has to be this complicated and elaborate routine. That is far from the truth because you can stay fit in many simple ways. The most important thing is to burn excess body fat and exercise your muscles. These are some of the simple ways in which you can keep yourself fit and healthy without spending too much time or resources. 

Morning runs

This is an ideal way to burn body fat and keep yourself fit. Morning runs are very refreshing and help to improve brain functions. At this time the weather is also very favorable which means that you’ll not spend a lot of time burning in the sun. Human traffic is also at a minimum making it easier to navigate the streets and sidewalks. Get your trainers on and run for some minutes very early in the morning before you begin your day's activities. You'll find yourself very active for the rest of the day with your mood greatly improved since running triggers the release of dopamine which is essential for happy moods. 

Jogging

If you can't run, jogging is a great alternative. You'll still sweat and burn calories while improving the functioning of your body organs such as the heart and brain. It improves the flow of blood to the rest of the body and makes you fit and healthy. You can accomplish just as much as the person running through jogging. This exercise is simple and not strenuous which means that even people who are advanced in age can participate in it. Fitness trackers can monitor your progress by relaying information about your heart rate and the distance covered. You can then use such data to evaluate yourself.

Nature walks

Walking helps you to burn calories and strengthen your leg muscles. You can trek or walk up a mountainous region, or just follow a nature trail and admire the natural environment. This can help you clear your mind, obtain better perspectives when it comes to making important decisions and keep your body fit. Some people assume that walking is not really exercising but the fact remains that it is a great way to burn calories. That's the reason why people who use their cars quite often are more likely to be overweight and unfit compared to those who walk every now and then.

Dancing

Have you ever wondered why most dancers generally have a lean physique? The reason is that dancing makes you sweat and burn calories, in the process you get rid of excess body fat and keep fit. You don't have to go to the gym to get a flat tummy, you can achieve that goal in a fun and exciting way through dancing. In fact, this type of exercise is the most ideal for someone who doesn't have much time to engage in outdoor fitness programs like running or jogging.

These are some of the simple exercises that do not require expensive gym equipment or consume much of your time. You can do them by yourself and use the fitness tracking devices to monitor your progress.

 


How Does a Fitness Tracker Work?


It's always good to be curious about how things work because then you begin to properly understand the significance of their functions. A fitness tracker sits perfectly on your wrist, counting the number of steps you make, measuring calorie expenditure and monitoring the quality of your sleep. Yet just how exactly does this gadget collect information and relay it to your smartphone?

To explain it simply, fitness tracking devices measure motion. Most of the current trackers have accelerometers that track movements in all directions. Some also measure orientation using a gyroscope. The data gathered is afterwards converted into activity and steps and then sleep quality and calories. Some assumptions are made on the way to arriving at these information. 

The altimeter, as the name suggests, is a feature used for measuring altitude. It is very important in measuring the heights of mountains when you are working out at high altitudes and the number of flights of stairs taken in a day. All these information is gathered and compiled to create a general reading. The accuracy of the data will increase with the number of sensors that your tracker has. 

The sensors of the tracking device determine acceleration, duration, frequency, intensity and movement patterns. All this data collected together improves the accuracy of your tracker reading. The sensors will collect information whether you are enjoying evening walks or just dancing to your favorite music.

Other trackers have temperature sensors that check the body temperature alongside bio-impedance sensors that measure the resistance of the skin to small electric currents. Some fitness trackers make use of optical or light sensors to measure pulse by shining light on the skin. The light illuminates capillaries as the sensors take measurements of how fast your blood is flowing and subsequently the rate of your heartbeat. These sensors come in handy when you are working out and want to monitor your heartbeat. Bio-impedance sensors are however more effective in gauging your general health.

When monitoring the quality of your sleep, the trackers use a process known as actigraphy to translate wrist movements into patterns of sleep. It will ideally measure how much you toss and turn in your sleep. To measure the amount of calories burned, a tracker will add heart rate data and amount of perspiration into the algorithm plus the number of steps taken. 

Fitness trackers use algorithms that differ slightly to convert raw data into real statistics. Different trackers have different thresholds for collecting information and that's why some trackers will ignore a small body movement like stretching while others will record it. This has an effect on the accuracy of the final data presented. As you purchase your fitness tracking device, you'll be asked about your age, weight, height and gender in order to find one that greatly suits you.

The final link in this chain is the smartphone app. Once the data goes through numerous algorithms and then refined appropriately, it is presented in a format that is user-friendly. A lot of fitness tracking applications also come with the capability of adding data manually.

 


Benefits of Using Fitness Trackers


There is no doubt whatsoever that inactivity can lead to a lot of health related issues. Fitness trackers monitor your level of activity and display the information on your smartphone. You not only have to stay fit but also track your progress as you go about your fitness regimens to see whether you are on course or you need to push yourself further. Fitness trackers are smart devices that are highly functional and will help you keep healthy while staying true to your fitness goals. What are some of the benefits of having these devices?

Monitoring your progress

This is the most basic function of these devices because they can greatly help you to keep track of your fitness goals. They monitor your general physical activity, heartbeat rate and other factors like quality of sleep. If you like to jog, or even run in order to lose weight, you can check your progress and determine whether your are making gains or lagging behind. The trackers have a smart way of displaying information which is very much beneficial to you. It's always hard to gauge yourself but with trackers you can self-evaluate quite easily.

Motivation

By knowing how further away you are from realizing your goals, you can be motivated to work even harder to achieve them. Some employers are also using the fitness trackers to motivate staff to keep fit. They set targets and reward those that achieve them. It's always great to exercise when you have people pushing or competing against you. The device allows you to see how much progress you are making which can be quite encouraging. There are many psychological advantages to this, the most significant being that people are generally motivated to work harder when there is some progress made.

Ability to personalize your exercises

Fitness trackers allow you to set your own goals. They are connected to your smartphones and tablets which means that you can very much personalize their functionality. There are people who hate going to the gym because it makes them uncomfortable. These devices can act as substitutes to gym instructors and help you keep track of your fitness exercises. You can monitor your progress and make the necessary adjustments if need be. 

An up to date weight loss tool

Most people join fitness activities primarily to lose weight and fitness trackers use forward technology to help you achieve your weight-loss goals. You can check your heartbeat rate and see whether you are on course by using the monitoring tools that measure your activity levels. 

Great fashion pieces

This is not a health benefit but still nonetheless a benefit that comes with fitness trackers. They are sometimes worn as digital watches and can be very ideal pieces of fashion accessories. They come in different sizes, colors and shapes and you can therefore make your pick based on what will compliment your personal style.

 


Advantages of Self-Fitness Training Over Gym Membership


There are people who prefer to have gym membership when exercising while there are those who find it much better to train on their own or in the comfort of their homes. The gym has a variety of training equipment that members can choose from but there are still several advantages of home or self-training over gym membership. Fitness trackers are supposed to help those who train by themselves keep track of their progress and stay focused on their set out goals. What are some of the benefits that one would enjoy when training on his or her own as opposed to having a gym membership?

Save on costs 

This goes without saying because gym membership comes with extra costs. The fee that you pay on a monthly or annual basis will carter for the wages of the gym instructor and equipment maintenance as well as being payment for using the gym itself. This is one thing that you don't have to worry about when you train on your own. Using fitness trackers, you can jog, run or walk on a daily basis while monitoring your progress all on your own. You'll end up meeting your objectives while still cutting down on unnecessary expenditure.

Ideal for those who hate crowded places

If you are one of those people who feel uncomfortable in crowded places then the gym might not be the most ideal place for you to exercise. Exercising in your own way and in your own space gives you comfort and makes you relax when doing your fitness routines. You can therefore opt for a home gym if you can afford it or engage in the simple exercises like jogging and running that will not cost you much. Having morning runs or taking nature walks will give you peace of mind due to the serene nature of the surroundings. 

Move at your set pace

When you exercise on your own, you can determine your own pace and train at your level. Instructors at the gym sometimes tend to hurry things up or give you exercises that are difficult to perform. There is also the issue of playing catch up with those who started before you, a factor which can be the cause of unnecessary pressure. Fitness tracking devices will help you set and maintain fitness goals that are suitable for you.

Flexibility

Gym sessions are scheduled which makes them very rigid. You have to adhere to the set timelines or miss out. With home or self-training, you get to determine your own schedule. You can exercise whenever you feel like without the restrictions brought about by gym membership.

Hygiene

Sharing equipment with so many people is unhygienic especially when they are not cleaned immediately after use. When you train on your own or at home, you use your own training gear and equipment. You therefore don't get to interact with other people's sweat or bodily fluids which can sometimes be the cause of several communicable diseases.

You can train on your own and use the fitness trackers to monitor your progress. It has several advantages over regular gym membership as we have seen.

 


Fitness Tracker


There are many fitness trackers available in the market right now. A lot of people have finally began to embrace these gadgets and have started using them as a means of keeping fit and staying healthy. Which are some of the popular lifestyle trackers this year?

Fitbit Charge HR

Anyone who has even a little bit of information about fitness trackers must have probably heard about or come across the Fitbit Charge HR. One of the most popular lifestyle trackers this year, this gadget has iOS, Android and Windows phone compatibility. When fully charged the battery can last up to five days. It also enables Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The Fitbit Charge HR is able to automatically detect exercises such as running and cycling. It has an improved pulse tracking ability which gives you an option of setting tougher weekly fitness targets. This tracker also has a screen, an altimeter and a pulse counter to tell you how much calories you've burned during your fitness exercises. The app is wonderful and the gadget's strap makes it a comfortable wrist piece. It comes in a sleek and discreet design, a perfect fit for many people who use trackers to monitor their health. Fitbit Charge HR is definitely one of the most popular fitness trackers this year. The gadget retails at about $175.

Microsoft Band 2

This is an excellent combination of a step counter and a great exercising companion. It is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. When fully charged, the battery lasts for about two days. With Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a better screen than the initial Microsoft Band, this upgraded version is clearly a much superior product. It has eleven sensors including skin temperature, ambient light and UV sensors. It's ideal for tracking sleep, running, the gym, cycling and many other outdoor fitness activities. It also retails for about $175 on Amazon. 

Jawbone UP2 

One thing that conspicuously stands out about this fitness tracker is that it's very light and comfortable. The Jawbone UP2 is compatible with Android and iOS, has a Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a long battery life of about 10 days. It does not really do much but if you want to monitor the quality of your sleep and count your steps then it might just as well serve the purpose. This fitness tracking gadget is also very affordable and retails for about $54 on Amazon.

UA Band

This fitness tracker is as a result of a joint venture between HTC and Under Armour (UA). It is very sleek and has great functionality. The tracker's screen is sensitive to touch while the gadget itself has a waterproofing of 2ATM. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and a battery life of 5 days. The UA Band is slightly expensive but nevertheless a wonderful gadget. 

There are still other fitness trackers like Garmin Vivofit 2 and Withings Activite Pop that fitness enthusiast use. The above are some of the most popular lifestyle trackers this year. Most people prefer them because of the improved functionality and great design. With constant innovation, others are bound to appear in the market.

 


How To Choose A Perfect Fitness Tracker For Yourself


When buying a fitness tracker, or any product for that matter, it is important to identify what works best for you not just in terms of functionality but personal style as well. The market is flooded with many fitness tracking gadgets that differ in pricing and model among many other things. What are some of the things to consider when buying a lifestyle tracker so that you get maximum value for money? 

Extra Functionality

Yes, a product that offers extra benefits is definitely a great buy. There are fitness trackers that have incorporated the latest technology to improve their ability to collect and present data. The newer brands of trackers have some additional capabilities like having built-in heartbeat rate monitors, a lot of sensors and also smartphone notifications. They are sort of hybrids between smartwatches and fitness trackers. You should also take note of the software of accompanying application, battery life and the ability to synchronize data with your phone or the web. 

Design

Since these gadgets are wearable, choose one that compliments your personal style. What's your favorite color? Are you looking for a small screen or a large one? These trackers come in different designs and for you to have some personal attachment to them it is necessary that you choose something that suits your personal style. It's similar to having a favorite car, clothes or even toy. The more you feel that it is a reflection of you the more you get attached to it. Trackers can also act as great fashion pieces and if you are a fashion forward person, you can use them to make a fashion statement. 

Durability

Of course you don't expect to buy something that will break down or get damaged within a very short time after purchase so it is necessary that you go for quality. Buying a fitness tracker that is durable will ensure that you enjoy its benefits for a long time and truly get good value for money. You can determine the durability of your tracker by checking the quality of material used to manufacture it. Some fitness tracking devices are also waterproof which makes them suitable for those who enjoy swimming or water sports. 

Your Age, Weight and Height

Because fitness trackers use algorithms to process data and relay information, choosing a gadget that matches your physical and biological features is one way of ensuring that you get accurate results. Buy a fitness tracker that is meant for somebody of your age, weight and height since that improves the accuracy of the data gathered and statistics presented.

Warranty

Products, more especially tech-gadgets, can malfunction at will even without your intervention. Buying a fitness tracking device that has a warranty ensures that you don't suffer any losses in case it stops working within a year from the time of purchase. It's a way of safeguarding your investment so that you get value for money. 

These are some of the important factors that can help you purchase the best fitness tracker that will serve its purpose and motivate you towards achieving your fitness goals.

 


Sunday, 10 April 2022

You Don't have to Become Some Sort of Mystic to Benefit from Meditation


There's a lingering stereotype about people who practiced meditation or some form of mindfulness. In the eyes of too many people, mindfulness practitioners are entering some sort of mystic or religious space. They believe that if you close your eyes or you recite an inaudible or silent mantra that you are necessarily praying or engaging in some sort of religious or spiritual activity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Mysticism is very different from meditation. Typical meditation, and I’m not talking about meditation derived from spiritual practices, I’m talking about basic meditation, is all about becoming aware of your body and your mind in the present moment.

 

Mysticism is about awareness that is beyond you. You're reaching out to some sort of greater truth that can either extend back in the or forward into the future. These are two totally different things. People are comparing apples to oranges.

 

When you engage in mysticism, you engage in external truth that may have been written a long, long time ago or is actually timeless. Regardless of whether you approve of mysticism or not, I think we could all agree that this is a totally different animal from mindfulness or meditation.

 

When you're being mindful, you don't care about the past. You really don't. This is why meditation is so awesome to a lot of people who are trying to overcome some sort of trauma.

 

Maybe your father wasn’t there when you were growing up. Perhaps you were abused by your mother. Possibly, your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend abused you or cheated on you or betrayed. Maybe people laughed at you in the past.

 

Whatever the case may be when you practice meditation, you let go of the past. You're no longer going through your mental closet and unraveling very painful or traumatic memories only to put them back into the closet again, and then you repeat the process over and over. You take a break from that. You really do.

 

When you practice mindfulness, you are focused on one thing and one thing alone. You are focused on the present moment, nothing else.

 

The same applies to worries. If you are a worrier, meditation may be the solution you're looking for because instead of obsessing and wasting tremendous emotional and mental resources thinking about stuff that has yet to happen, you focus on what is.

 

You realize that the air coming out of your nostrils is real right here, right now. You are aware of how you’re breathing right here, right now. Nothing else.

 

This is why if you are still on the fence about meditation or mindfulness, understand it has nothing to do with mysticism. You don't have to become some sort of mystic. You don't have to become some sort of Shaolin or Buddhist priest. You don't have to do any of that. You just have to focus on who you are right here, right now.

 


Meditation is Rooted in How Your Mind Works


There are a lot of misconceptions regarding meditation and, by extension, mindfulness. A lot of people are under the impression that you have to have some sort of mystical religious belief for meditation to work for you.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. When you practice meditation, you are tapping into processes that are already happening in your mind. You're not imposing something new onto it. You're not trying to make it do something that it normally doesn't do. Worse yet, you're not trying to get it to do something that it won’t do.

 

Instead, it's already proceeding in a certain way. It’s already operating in a certain way. When you practice meditation and mindfulness, you just align your consciousness with how your mind already works. This way, instead of your mind working against you, it works for you.

 

Believe it or not, when you think about traumatic experiences in the past or you worry about stuff that could possibly go wrong in the future, you are letting your mind work against you. The big tragedy to all of this is that you are doing it to yourself.

 

Nobody is pointing a gun at your head and demanding that you remain a slave to the traumatic experiences of your past. Nobody is slapping you around and forcing you to bow to your fears. Nobody is pushing you to be miserable because of things that may possibly happen in the future.

 

You're doing this all to yourself, and what makes this a tragedy is your mind is so powerful, so beautiful and so amazing but you task it to make you miserable. You choose to have your mind work against you to the extent that you feel stuck in your life.

 

Did you know that you can do whatever anybody else could do? Think of the most successful person that you know. Did you know that you can do what they do? When a thousand and one reasons appear in your mind explaining why you can’t do what they do or achieve what they achieve, that's your mind in operation. It doesn't have to operate that way. Sadly, you trained it to operate that way.

 

Meditation enables you to understand how your mind works and then choose the outcome of your thoughts.

 

What you focus on grows. The more you focus on your problems, the more they grow. The more you focus on your insecurities, the weaker you feel. The more you focus on your flaws both physical and emotional, the less attractive and the more doomed you feel. Stop it. It doesn't have to be that way.

 

Your reality is a choice. By understanding how your mind already works in the here and now, you can start making necessary changes that can take your life to the next level.

 

Get the inside scoop on how meditation works and how you can apply certain simple steps to change your thinking. It is probably going to be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

 

Believe me for people who have just discovered meditation, they get the feeling that they have just been released from jail. It's like day and night. When you enjoy the calm and serenity that meditation can bring to your life, you start thinking of why you’ve wasted all those years thinking the way you did.

 

Make no mistake you are always in control. I know that it's not a comfortable thing to here because you’d rather blame other people. You'd rather think that your life is set in stone by the past. If you really want to live a life of power, meaning and purpose, meditation is the key.