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4 Easy Motivation Hacks That Work

Motivation can be a fickle beast. Sometimes, you’re totally cruising through the day like a boss, and other times you’re ready for bed by 4 p.m.

Fortunately, there are ways to give yourself a boost even when you’re not feeling at the top of your game. Try sneaking these four easy strategies into your everyday mix to see what works best for you:

1. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS

You need to change your passwords regularly to maintain cyber security, so why not turn the exercise into a motivational tool?

While still throwing in a heavy dose of good password practices — i.e., include numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols — tweak your combinations to reflect what you’re attempting to accomplish. Bonus: This habit makes them easier to remember.

For instance, if your goal is a 50-pound bicep curl PR, and you want to crush that by July 1st, consider this as a password: 701BiCurlPR#50. Or, if this is your year for cultivating more kindness toward yourself, you password could be: 2017+IAM+Love.

When you make these into passwords you use regularly, such as logging onto your laptop, it prompts you to remember your goals several times a day. That can strengthen your resolve and keep you motivated.

2. RESET YOUR GOALS

Lofty, broad goals sometimes have a place, but it’s much better to be specific and realistic, says Dr. Laith Jazrawi, orthopedic surgeon and chief of sports medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. “Just saying that you want to get fit doesn’t do much, because what does that mean?” he says. “Fitness is subjective. Being able to walk around the block is considered fit for some people.”

If your motivation machine seems lower than usual, set goals that you can achieve in a shorter timeframe, he advises. For instance, stating that you want to swim a mile when you struggle to get halfway down the pool on your first lap will be de-motivating because you’ll feel like you’ll never reach your goal. Instead, time how long it takes to swim half a lap. Then, aim to shave 5 seconds off that time on the second half of the lap. It might sound minor, but it won’t be minor to your brain, says Jazrawi.

“Your mind celebrates every victory,” he says. “So, instead of focusing on one big victory in the distant future, create smaller ones every single day, and you’ll soon develop the habit of meeting your goals.”

3. WRITE A LETTER FROM YOUR FUTURE SELF

When people set goals, they usually jot down what they’re going to do. But one trick that can be powerful is to write a letter from “the future,” describing your accomplishments in the past tense, and being very specific.

For example, instead of saying, “I want to run a marathon in the fall,” you would write a note that’s dated in October — even if that’s months from now — and say, “I ran the Las Vegas Marathon in September, and it was fantastic. I trained for it and fueled up properly, and I felt like I was flying the whole time. I’m so proud of myself!”

Guided imagery and visualization have proven to improve performance for athletes, and creating context by being specific and imagining yourself having already accomplished your goals — instead of always reaching toward them — can be powerful mojo indeed.

Like everything else from food choices to workout options, what works for other people may not be what you need. But by changing your tactics regularly, you can discover what gets you going again and keeps you motivated.

READ MORE > 5 SUREFIRE UPGRADES TO 5 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

4. RECRUIT A FRIEND

After Michigan-based home health aide Erika Maastricht underwent treatment for a chronic wound that wasn’t healing, she received ample support from her medical team about nutritional changes and exercises she could implement. While those insights were helpful, she was missing emotional support.

Then she started swapping cat photos with a friend in Minnesota, and the habit became a daily ritual. Sometimes, her pal would also throw in some encouragement, but Maastricht found the stream of random kitty pics to be even more motivational.

“It feels like she’s thinking of me, that she takes time out of her day for these moments of checking in, even if that’s not explicitly stated,” she says. “Knowing that she’s there helps to keep me on track.”

Another friend, who’s a personal trainer, also sends texts a few times a week, asking how she’s doing and offering advice. The combination of both friends’ texts helps Maastricht when she’s contemplating a spin through the drive-thru or canceling a physical therapy appointment.

The post 4 Easy Motivation Hacks That Work appeared first on Under Armour.

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4 Ways To Meditate At Work!

Ways To Meditate At Work!

Hello All!!!

Work life can get hectic. You might have an ever-growing to-do list and your boss may be handing you project after project. It can get too overwhelming and make you desperate for a moment of peace.

Now meditating at office is not easy! But when you do it even for just 2 minutes, you can increase your productivity and concentration. It is said to boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety.

Here are Ways To Meditate At Work!

1) Listening to binaural beats

health benefits of music.2

You can listen to binaural sounds while working or during your break. Now, what are binaural beats? They are two tones having slightly different frequencies. One is played in the right ear and another is played in the left.

Neuroscientists say that just one session of binaural betas can help attention, memory, stress, pain, headaches and migraines.

When you listen to sounds that are of different frequencies, your brain combines both and levels them out. For instance when your left ear hears a 100 Hz frequency and the right one 10Hz, the brain perceives a sound of 90Hz. This can put you in a deep focused and meditative state.

The same happens when you hear the sounds of nature like different frequencies of birds chirping or the sound of the waves. It has a calming effect on your mind.

Simply plug in your earphones and listen to binaural beats to feel relaxed.

2) Practicing Samatha meditation

Also called as ‘calming meditation’, Samatha meditation improves focus and improves productivity. Take a few minutes from your work and stare at an inanimate object for 2 to 5 mins.

Focus on the rise and fall of your breath. When you feel distracted by an external noise, bring your attention back to your breathing. Though practiced with closed eyes, it can be done with eyes open too at your desk.

3) Meditating in your car

Find a moment of silence in your car as you are less likely to get interrupted there. Start meditating in your car to calm down your monkey mind. You can listen to binaural beats or do samatha meditation. Another option is to sit in silence and pay attention to the rise and fall of your breath.

4) Making most of a moment alone

Are your colleagues in a meeting or are away for lunch? This is the best time for you to connect with your breathing. You can either keep your eyes closed or open and focus on at least 10 inhalations and exhalations.

It is also a good opportunity to shut your eyes and find out how you are feeling presently. There may be mental chatter or thoughts that distract you. However, you need to remind yourself that this moment of peace is to focus on yourself.

Convince your office management

ways to meditate at work

If your office does not allow these meditative breaks, why don’t you tell the management to think it over and make the entire office meditate at a certain time of the day? Tell them that this way the performance of the employees will improve significantly.

Wish you all the very best with your meditation! Discover a less stressed out and rejuvenated you with the helps of the above ways to meditate at work!

Hope you liked this post on Ways To Meditate At Work!

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The post 4 Ways To Meditate At Work! appeared first on Indian Weight Loss Blog.

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18 Ways to Fuel for a 6 a.m. Workout: What Dietitians Eat Before They Work Out

When you jump out of bed at the buzz of your 5:30 a.m. alarm for an early morning workout, eating breakfast might be the last thing on your mind. But after fasting all night, your energy stores are depleted — and the last thing you want to hear during a grueling workout is your stomach growl.

While simple carbohydrates found in sports drinks, energy gels and cereal provide a quick source of energy, they might not sustain you through a longer workout. Pairing these energy-boosting carbohydrates with a small amount of fat and protein is the best way to ensure sustained energy while working out. Adding in a dose of protein floods your bloodstream with amino acids right when you need them the most, allowing for muscle-building optimization. Healthy fats slow the digestion process, promoting a gradual release of energy throughout a longer workout.

The size of your pre-workout meal will vary depending on the length of your workout and your energy needs. Going for a long or high-intensity workout? Consider a more energy dense meal, but keep in mind it may take 3-4 hours to fully digest. A lower-intensity workout will require less energy. Aim for a small meal that can be digested in about 2–3 hours. But, if you’re working out early in the morning, you won’t have 2 hours to spare. Consider a blended option, such as a smoothie. They digest quickly because the blender has already done a lot of the work for your stomach. Another quick option is a 100–200 calorie snack (like many of the examples below); these will take you less than an hour to digest and won’t weigh you down.


READ MORE > THE MOST COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS BLUNDERS DIETITIANS SEE


Just can’t eat breakfast early in the morning? While you may be used to running on fumes, your performance may be suffering. Luckily, your gut can be trained to accept a light morning meal. Start small with a snack that will be easy on your stomach, such as a banana or a piece of toast. Gradually add onto this meal until your stomach can tolerate it. A little change in eating habits can make a huge difference in your performance!

If you’re ready to amp up your a.m. fuel, check out what dietitians eat before their morning workouts!

1. FRUIT

Fruit is a key RD go-to. (Are you surprised?) Tara Gidus Collingwood, MS, RDN, the sports dietitian for the Orlando Magic eats a half or full banana before she heads out for a morning run. Fruit, whether it is fresh, frozen or dried, has quickly digestible carbohydrates that can fuel a morning workout, and it offers a light option if you’re not an early morning eater. For a more filling alternative, Ashley Munro, RD, of A Pinch of Grace, likes to stuff 1–2 dates with 1 tablespoon almond butter “because it’s quick and easy on the stomach.”

2. HOMEMADE MUFFIN

If you’re heading out for a longer workout, you need enough fuel to sustain you. Pair a hearty homemade muffin, such as these Almond Butter Banana Oat Muffins, with a small smoothie or a fresh piece of fruit. Freeze these muffins and heat in the microwave or defrost on the countertop overnight for a grab-and-go breakfast.

3. OATMEAL

You can’t go wrong with a classic bowl of warm oatmeal. Packed full of carbohydrates and fiber, oats will give you sustained energy throughout your morning workout. There are endless possibilities for mix-ins, including nuts and nut butters, dried or fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder. Angie Asche, MS, RD,owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition, uses overnight oats as her go-to early morning pre-workout meal. Simply add oats, milk and a handful of berries or sliced banana to a sealed Mason jar. Place the jar in the fridge overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning. Need some inspiration? Give this High Protein Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats recipe a try.

4. SMOOTHIES

Smoothies are both easy to make and full of the nutrients necessary for an intense workout. This Tropical Superfood Smoothie provides a boost of antioxidants from superfoods that aid in recovery from the natural stress of exercise. Smoothies can be as simple as a blend of fruit or can include protein powder and vegetables to provide nutrients from all food groups. Try adding Greek yogurt, chia seeds or nut butter. There are endless combinations to experiment with.

WATCH > APPLE PIE BREAKFAST BOWL

5. ENERGY BOWLS

These bowls are similar to a smoothie except you can sit down and enjoy them with a spoon. Energy bowls are the perfect combination of energy-dense carbohydrates blended for easy digestion prior to a long workout. The easy preparation is an added bonus at 6 a.m. This Green Energy Bowl blends energizing carbohydrates with walnuts and chia seeds for sustained energy that provides a punch of protein.

6. YOGURT PARFAITS

Greek yogurt is ideal for athletes; it provides less added sugar (if you opt for plain) and is higher in protein than traditional yogurt, while also providing a great source of probiotics and bone-strengthening calcium. Parfaits are an optimal pre-workout snack that’s easy to digest while providing key nutrients from a variety of food groups. Try this Peach Parfait to energize your next early workout.  

7. TOASTER WAFFLES

Waffles are versatile and easy to prep ahead of time. Simply choose your favorite waffle base (such as bananas, protein powder or whole grains). You can even experiment with different types of flour, like coconut flour for a grain-free option. If you are gluten-free, check out these Gluten Free Blender Waffles. Freeze extras and pop them in the toaster on busy mornings.  

8. PANCAKES

This breakfast staple can be made with a variety of grains to provide the carbohydrates needed to fuel your workout. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat them, they are easy to eat on the go, either plain or topped with a little nut butter. Check out this recipe for a Tart Cherry Greek Yogurt pancake that combines the recovery power of tart cherry juice with the protein boost of Greek yogurt. Jessica Levings, MS, RD, of Balanced Pantry, agrees. Her favorite pre-workout fuel is one homemade buckwheat pancake. “I make a big batch and freeze them so I can defrost a few at a time,” she says. “One gives me just enough energy for an hourlong run, plus it’s portable so I can eat it in the car on the way to meet my running buddy!”

9. EGG WHITE ENGLISH MUFFIN OR BREAKFAST SANDWICH

This may sound like too much to handle in the early hours of the morning, but breakfast sandwiches are easy to prepare ahead of time, wrap and freeze. Don’t forget to add the veggies; this is an easy way to sneak in a handful of leafy greens or bell peppers. In the morning, simply unwrap your sandwich and microwave for 60–90 seconds.


READ MORE > 21 DIETITIAN-APPROVED TIPS TO JUMP-START WEIGHT LOSS


10. AVOCADO TOAST

Avocados in the morning? Yes! They are perfect to combine with whole-grain bread for long-lasting energy that won’t leave you feeling overfull. This Avocado Toast with Kale Sprouts adds the powerful nutrient boost of kale sprouts.

11. SWEET POTATO TOAST

Have you seen this trendy new breakfast? Simply cut a sweet potato (round ones work best) into thin slices, then toast on high for 2–3 cycles. The sweet potato will be soft but not soggy and ready for your choice of toppings. Go sweet and add peanut butter, raisins or cinnamon. Or, try a savory version and top with an egg, avocado or cheese. Sweet potatoes are a great pre-workout pick because they are rich in carbohydrates, high in fiber and provide a boost of vitamin A.

12. BREAKFAST PIZZA

Pizza for breakfast? Why not! Pizza has a carbohydrate-rich crust, and adding eggs, cheese and vegetables can make it a satisfying and tasty way to energize in the morning. Breakfast pizza can be prepared at the beginning of the week and portions can be reheated daily.

13. ENERGY BITES

Energy bites are tasty and easy to grab if you are not a morning person. I love energy bites before a morning workout,” says Edwina Clark, MS, RD. “They provide a little bit of protein and carbohydrate to fuel working muscles, without leaving you heavy and uncomfortable.” Have a sweet tooth? Here’s one of our favorite recipes for Cookie Dough Energy Bites.

14. BREAKFAST BURRITO

Instead of swinging by the drive-thru for a fast breakfast option, why not make your own? Breakfast burritos are a quick and easy way to incorporate carbohydrates, protein and whatever else you would like into a hand-held, energy-packed option. They can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen, making them a convenient heat-and-go meal.

15. HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS

Make granola bars on the weekend then use all week. These Tart Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are filled with lasting energy plus a recovery boost from the tart cherries. If you are a heavy sweater or do high-intensity workouts, you may benefit from the added sodium of these granola bars. To reduce your added sugar intake, try homemade granola. Grab a handful while running out the door, or add it on top of a yogurt parfait or an energy bowl. Here is a fun, breakfast-inspired recipe to try: Blueberry Muffin Granola.  

16. BREAKFAST COOKIES

Cookies for breakfast? Don’t worry, these aren’t your typical chocolate chip treat. Breakfast cookies are typically lower in sugar and made with ingredients like whole-grain flour, oats, nuts and dried fruit to make a condensed, energy-packed snack.

17. RICE CAKES AND NUT BUTTER

Rice cakes topped with nut butter, banana and chia seeds are a complete and easy breakfast. This option combines all the good stuff dietitians love: whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein and fruit. “I always have two rice cakes with peanut butter, banana and a sprinkle of chia seeds about 45 minutes before a workout,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, of Bucket List Tummy. “It’s a great balance of carbs, with a tiny bit of protein to help sustain me but is easy on the digestive system.” She also adds 16 ounces of water.

18. BREAKFAST QUINOA

To switch up your usual hot cereal routine, try quinoa instead. Quinoa provides the benefits of a whole grain with the added bonus of extra protein. It can be prepared similarly to oatmeal with your favorite add-ins, or you can get creative and try these Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Pears.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

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The post 18 Ways to Fuel for a 6 a.m. Workout: What Dietitians Eat Before They Work Out appeared first on Under Armour.

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7 Pro Tips for Making Your Work Day More Active

Staying active during the workday can be a challenge for people who sit at a desk all day. This is especially true on days when you’re so busy it feels like there’s rarely an opportunity to look away from your computer, much less get up and move around.

Luckily, there are many ways to stay active in the office, even if you can’t manage to leave your desk. Check out these stretching and movement ideas from ergonomic pros, fitness experts and health advocates:

1. SUBTLY BOOST YOUR BURN

Add extra resistance to your movement, turning that quick walk from your desk to your printer into an opportunity to tone and burn. You can wear discreet ankle weights or body weights.”

– Frank Yao, co-founder and CEO of Physiclo

2. DO A WATER CHALLENGE

Challenge yourself to drink 10, 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. Not only will you have to continually get up and refill your water, you’ll need to head to the bathroom, too. Added bonus: Drinking water is great for you, so you’re kind of winning on all fronts.”

– Amina AlTai, owner of Busy Happy Healthy


To make it easy to track your water intake, log it with MyFitnessPal.


3. SET YOUR ACTIVITY TRACKER

“The best way to start keeping yourself more accountable for your activity level is to get an activity tracker. You can set your tracker to vibrate on your wrist to remind you that you’ve been sitting too long and it is time to get up and move.”

– Mandy McClellan, accessories buyer for Fit2Run, The Runner’s Superstore

4. START DELIVERING “IN-PERSON EMAILS”

“Visit a colleague’s desk to deliver a message instead of sending an email. The trip will get you out of your desk chair and give you a fun, social reason to walk around the office. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of some face time with a colleague, who will also appreciate the break from emails!”

– Eve Martin, CEO and founder of Elm Tree Medical Inc.

5. SET RULES THAT MOTIVATE MOVEMENT

“Cut off taking advantage of workplace supplies at noon so you have to leave [the office] and go get a snack or coffee from somewhere further away from your workstation.”

– Katie Johnson, outreach and PR Strategist for StandDesk.co.

6. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

“Remember, we are trying to replicate the experience of working in the fields or factory without all the heavy lifting and sweating. If you have an adjustable desk, you can listen to your body and you can move periodically throughout the day. You now have the freedom to move when it is convenient and when your body tells you that you need to.

“Stand for a few minutes when you get to your desk after a long commute. Stand while you take a phone call. Stand after lunch to help maintain your focus and avoid the afternoon crash. Stand when your back feels a little tight or your neck is stiff. Adjustments give you freedom and that is good for your body and your mind!”

– What You Should Know Before You Take a Stand, Workrite

 7. PERFORM A DESK WORKOUT

Try this desk workout from Meghan Kennihan, NASM personal trainer.

  1. Desk pushups offer great for toning the arms. Place your hands on your desk, walk your feet back to a 45-degree angle and do 10–15 pushups.
  2. Shoulder squeezes helps prevent a hunched posture. Pretend there’s a pencil between your shoulder blades, squeeze them together and hold for 10–20 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Sit and stands tones your legs and butt. Stand in front of your chair and lower yourself down until your butt hits the edge of the chair and stand back up (make sure your chair is secure). Repeat 20 times.
  4. Desk dips are perfect for toning your triceps. Face away from your desk and place your hands shoulder-width apart with fingers facing you, legs extended. Dip down until your elbows make a 90-degree angle; press back up 10–15 times.
  5. Wall Sit: Stand against the wall and slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle directly over your ankles. Hold for 30–60 seconds and repeat 5 times.

The post 7 Pro Tips for Making Your Work Day More Active appeared first on Under Armour.

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