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One more quote

Hello, dears!

I´m sure you´re expecting my usual daily quote but today is going to be a little bit different.

Have you ever heard the expression “stop and smell the roses”, right? Well, the original quote belongs to Mr. Walter Hagen (a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century), and his exact words were: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”.

I started blogging in September 2015 and I have not taken a break since then. I´ve enjoyed every single day, I have met many wonderful people and made some good friends. I have learned a lot from you and I have grown more as a person than as a blogger. I feel nothing but gratitude: thanks for your support that you have shown all this time, but also thanks for all the inspiration, help, advice and pearls of wisdom you share from your blogs! Keep writing because I´m not going anywhere!!

It´s just that my daily (hopefully) motivational quote series ends today: 532 quotes. I had no specific number in mind when I started but lately, I´ve been feeling it´s time to make some changes. I have more quotes than exercises or post about fitness. When I think about it, a voice in my head tells me something is not right… and I agree 🙂

Back in September 2015, I knew nothing about blogging. In November 2017 I know that more than two thousand followers deserve better than a daily motivational quote, weekly recipes, and occasional fitness post.

After my come back, I plan to post just three times per week, things I think you´d like to see again: playlists, exercises, recipes, fitness tips… and some new stuff. My goal is to deliver twelve worth reading posts every month, starting in December.

This month, after two years, I´m going to press the Pause button instead of Publish. No hurries, no worries, I´ll be smelling the flowers 😉

Big hugs!

 

 

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My top tips to inspire happiness w/ The all of it blog

Hello!

Today I´m very excited about this post. This is my first collaboration post, ever! I´m collaborating with my friend Sareena, the awesome blogger behind The all of it blog. Fortunately, she has more experience than me in this sort of post, and working with her was an absolute pleasure.

She showed up with a lot of topics and we choose happiness. Happiness is a familiar topic for me, not because I am a very happy person, but because I studied philosophy. Back in the day, I decided to study philosophy because I needed to understand what it is needed to be happy. Happiness is a fundamental concept in philosophy and I already had to write about it for several teachers. I never imagined that I would write about happiness again. I really enjoyed writing this post, revisiting old Greek authors, old pieces of advice, realizing which ones worked for me… A million thanks, Sareena!

In philosophy, happiness translates the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing. Aristotle stated that the happy life is the good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way. Since man is a rational animal, human happiness depends on the exercise of his reason. Happiness is not pleasure, nor is it virtue. It is the exercise of virtue. Happiness depends on acquiring a moral character, where one displays the virtues of courage, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship in one’s life. These virtues involve striking a balance or “Mean” between an excess and a deficiency.

From Tales to Adorno, all philosophers have reflected on happiness and good life, so we have a wide variety of opinions on what´s happiness and how to be happy. Exploring philosophical, cultural and historical variation in concepts of happiness is the best way to realize that happiness is a fuzzy concept.

Psychology reduces happiness to a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics. In my opinion, it´s pretty interesting how science tries to probe and translate to cold scientific language things that philosophers and poets said thousands of years ago.

“The physician heals, Nature makes well” Aristotle

Spend time outdoors. Recent studies show we spend too much time enclosed in buildings and vehicles. Up to 90% of the time, we´re inside.  This is not just unhealthy but unnatural.

By definition, a jail is a place for the confinement of people accused or convicted of a crime. If you haven´t committed a crime, why do you confine yourself? How are you going to be happy if you´re punishing yourself by locking yourself? Happiness is outdoors!

Go outside and enjoy nature, earth and sky, lakes and rivers, beach and mountain. Time outdoors will improve your mood, self-esteem, creativity as well as your vitamin D levels. Also, many studies have found that regular exposure to nature helps to reduce mental fatigue and relieve stress reducing cortisol levels.

Make being outside a ritual, try gardening, find a trail, go to a local park or just sit outside quietly and appreciate the natural beauty around you! Notice the scents, sights, and sounds as you sit quietly and focus on the moment.

“A healthy mind in a healthy body” Juvenal

Exercise. Science can´t explain how it works yet, but exercise brings feelings of euphoria and general well-being. Endorphins, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, it´s not clear what causes these feelings.

A recent research shows that while many people started an exercise program to lose weight and improve their appearance, they continued to exercise because of the benefits to their well-being. Physical activity is an elixir of life, not a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to take care of your body, and you´ll see awesome improvements in your mood.

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best” Epictetus

Enjoy time with friends. There is no better way to spend our time in this world than doing activities that we like with people we like. Recent studies about friendship and happiness have found:

  1. Friendship is the single most important factor in determining a person’s happiness.
  2. Those who considered friendship very important were more satisfied in every category from their health, their personal achievements, their safety, their relationships and their lives as a whole.
  3. For married people, their level of happiness is significantly dependent upon the intensity of their friendships.
  4. Single people who think of themselves as being extremely happy and who believe friends are important are happier than married people who do not think friends are very important.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” Plato

Not just music, but arts in general. Make more art. In 2010, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself and published the results in the American Journal of Public Health.

From five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles), the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients:

  1. Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness.
  2. Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones.
  3. Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression.
  4. Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions.
  5. Reductions in distress and negative emotions.
  6. Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks.

The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.” In other words, writing actually impacted the cells and improved their immune system.Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve!

“The happy man is the one who has a healthy body, a wealthy soul and a well educated nature” Thales

For many, formal education ends after secondary school or university. Of course, adults learn things outside of formal education such as how to manage their finances and make a success of their personal lives. Many will learn new skills in the workplace, and some do courses as part of their professional development. Continuing to learn well into adulthood is beneficial to health and happiness. Never stop learning!

These are my tips for you: enjoy time outdoors, with friends, take care of your body, express your creativity, and never stop learning. What are Sareena’s?

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Are you moving enough?

I work all day, running around on errands. What are the simple ways to make sure I am moving enough for the day?

I am honored to have been invited along with other experts to answer this question at The Diabetes Council.

Are you looking for tips that fit your busy schedule? This article is specifically for you.

Experts Share How You Can Keep Moving With A Busy Schedule

 

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Tips for Achieving Better Upper Body strength by Justina Triasovaite

Hello, dears!

Today I´m pleased to introduce you a new blogger and friend, Justina Triasovaite. She is a certified female personal trainer and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives.

London based, she´s offering first class free with each package! If you live in London, you shouldn´t miss this opportunity.

Without further delay, I let you read her refreshing tips. Enjoy!

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This article will reveal what it takes to build up strength in your upper body, including your shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core.

No matter where you choose to train – at the gym, in the park or in your own home, there are a lot of useful tips provided in this article that can be beneficial for building your upper body strength.

Ok, let’s get started!

Home and/or Park: A Great Start!

Have you ever thought of improving your upper body strength right in your own home, right in your terrace or garden, for example? There are different ways of getting stronger and it doesn’t necessarily require you to go out to the gym – just get started right at home or in any suitable park. In my opinion, the best place to train during spring-summer months would be outside – in a park or in your own home, maybe in the garden area. Fewer excuses and more exercise!

1) Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at Home or Park 

  • PRESS UPS

Press ups involve the majority of upper body muscles, which is great if you are trying to strengthen your upper body. What is more, these exercises improve your posture, enhance your cardiovascular system and help to prevent lower back injuries. Press ups do not require any additional equipment so you can do it right in the middle of your living room or terrace.

  • DIPS

Dips are isolation exercises that work miracles for strengthening your arms and gaining powerful and defined triceps. They can be performed at the gym on a special machine or simply at home using a chair or a bed frame. Although I think it is much more fun to do your dips outside – just find the right spot (e.g. a bench). Try this out today!

  • PULL UPS

Pull up exercises are compound movements which add strength to the whole back and arms. Nobody says they’re easy, but what you gain is most definitely worth it: by doing pull ups, several large muscle groups (back, arms and shoulders) work simultaneously. What I love about these exercises the most is that they don’t require expensive equipment – you can order a pull-up bar online and hang it above your door frame. Time to get thinking about this.

  • RESISTANCE BANDS

Resistance bands are amazing tools for working out at home with your own body weight with a goal of strengthening various muscle groups in your body, including your upper body. Most of these bands come with a special hook which allows using them on your door without damaging it. It should also come with thorough instruction regarding all of the exercises you can perform using these bands. Easy and fun!

2. Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at the Gym

Say hello to the rowing machine as soon as you enter the gym, as this is the best exercise you can do to strengthen your upper body and build a great back. It doesn’t really matter which kind of rowing machine you choose – seated, standing, assisted, or single arm rowing – the benefits of these type of exercise for building a strong upper body are simply undeniable.

Another great exercise I highly recommend trying out is a shoulder press – machine, free weights, barbell or dumbbells – everything goes when we are talking about those beautiful and strong shoulders.

Don’t forget that a strong chest is the key to a strong upper body, so the chest press should become one of your favorite exercises as well. Choose a bench or a machine, dumbbells or bar – everything is suitable for your goal as long as you perform the exercises correctly.

And last, but definitely not least, a must exercise for everyone – pull down or pull ups. Pull down is a great machine for beginners if they want to build up their back strength and move on to pull-ups. Pull ups and chin ups work miraculously in building the so-called “triangle back”, which is often part of my clients’ wish list!

3) General Tips for Upper Body Strength

  • Carry the shopping bags yourself. This simple activity can highly influence the strength of your upper body. Forget shopping online: carrying your purchases daily will be a great exercise for your upper body and will also help you improve in the exercising field.
  • Get involved! Play outdoor games which put resistance onto your upper body – basketball, netball, tennis, badminton. This is a fun and easy way to build strength in your upper body.
  • Include Isometric Contractions (also called isometric exercises or isometrics). These are the type of exercises, in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. These exercises are well known for making your upper body muscles stronger. One tip – try holding a pillow right in front of you while keeping your arms straight… Not so easy, right? ☺ Try it for a couple of days and increase your holding time gradually – you will see how much stronger you will feel in a relatively short period of time.
  • Don’t forget the core! The strength of your upper body highly depends on the strength of your core, so don’t forget to include a variety of exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of your core. My favorite core exercises are various variations of the plank as well as leg raises – these work best for strengthening core muscles. Tip: always add one or two exercises that help to strengthen the core at the end of your training sessions.

Continuous Hard Work Pays Off!

To sum up, continuous hard work and the right choice of exercises definitely pays off, leading to a well-trained upper body, built up strength and an improved physique.

There is no need to invest in expensive machines or training equipment: there are plenty of exercises available that require only your own body strength. Easy!

Even your everyday activities, such as carrying the shopping bags, can strengthen your upper body, so definitely no excuses!