This year was full of a lot of changes for me. I moved half way across the country to attend university, leaving behind my family, friends and boyfriend. I do not regret this for a second! I am so happy with the decisions I have made so far this year. However, at the beginning of the year, I was pretty worried. Hence why, I came up with a list of goals for the year. These aren’t measurable, and a lot of them aren’t goals that have a finish. They are just ways I wanted to improve myself. I’ll evaluate how I’m going here and set some plans up for the future.
Be More Confident
This was definitely something I wanted to work on this year, and I am getting better at talking to new people. However, I am most certainly an introvert, and it is obvious a lot of the time that I am not comfortable. This even extends to my friend group. There is a huge group of us and walking into a room they are all in can be nerve racking. I can relax once I get in there and start talking to someone, but I have to encourage myself to go and socialise.
The last two weeks I have been on my mid-semester break which was fantastic. I’ve been able to see my boyfriend, my cat and my family. I have been able to sleep in every day, and I have eaten a lot of Easter chocolate. Far too much. Being away from university also meant that I was not able to utilise the gym or stick to a routine. Now this is absolutely no excuse. Working out in the comfort of your own home is so easy! All you really need is a bit of space to do it. But I am notoriously lazy. I tricked myself into thinking that since I was on holiday, I didn’t need to workout. I could just relax, watch TV and hang out with my friends from home. Now that was a mistake!
I had no intention of doing any workouts. However, I did come up with some ways to exercise which meant I was still being a little active, even if it did not compare to the hour long spin or weight lifting sessions I do while at university. The below list is not a workout. It will not help you lose lots of weight or make you feel good. This list is designed for people like me who simply did not feel like doing much over their holidays but still wanted to get a bit of movement into their day. So if you fall into that category, then read on. Even if you don’t, these can be nice to include into your daily life anyway so that you can be that little bit more active.
Get Out The Vacuum
If your house is anything like mine, it gets dirty pretty easily. That’s the problem with three younger siblings as well as a horse and chickens. If your mother is anything like mine, she sees the return of her eldest daughter from university as an extra servant. So rather than let me completely laze about, I have been using the vacuum a lot. This has its perks however, because it is a great way to get a workout in, especially if your house is pretty big.
Now I have a confession to make. I love using those manual hand egg beaters. The type with the handle that you pump round and round. I generally use this when I am whipping cream, but of course there are tonnes of other uses. It works similar to the hand bike that you sometimes see in a gym. I love racing myself to see how fast I can go, only stopping when the cream is whipped perfectly. This usually takes about ten minutes. I try and mix up which hand I use so they both get a bit of a workout. While this one probably isn’t practical unless you are actually using an eggbeater for something, it can be pretty fun!
Before going to university this was my favourite workout. Its simple. All you do is stand and raise up onto your tip toes and then lower down again without letting your heels touch the floor. You can do them fast or slow, but they don’t require any extra equipment. Climbing the hills to university works my calves far too well, but I used to do these so often. Generally when I was waiting for something (like the microwave) or while brushing my teeth. They are so good to throw into everyday life and you can really tell if they work when you can’t walk easily the next day!
These can be done in the same sorts of situations as calf raises. Generally just when you are waiting for something. This one is a bit more obvious though so perhaps not the best to do if you are out somewhere, just stick to doing it around your home. Basically you find a wall and stand in front of it, sliding down the wall as if you are sitting on an invisible chair, with your back to the wall. Don’t worry if you can’t hold them for very long at first. Practice makes perfect and all that. Or it builds muscles at least.
The Couch Superman
In case you haven’t already realised, the “couch superman” is a name I made up. Who knows what its actually called, if it even has a name. This one is simple to do when you are sitting on the couch watching TV. You sit on the edge of the couch and raise your legs up in a flat 90 degree angle so they are straight out in front of you and not touching the floor at all. Use your muscles to keep them there!! You can even add in some variation by doing little flutter kicks
Clean Your Home
As much as you loathe them, chores are a great way to do exercise. Extra points for outside jobs, such as gardening or car washing, which are more strenuous. In fact washing the car can burn as much as 143 calories (600kj) in just thirty minutes. However, cleaning of any sort counts as exercise. Even the simple act of cleaning your room, as long as you are actually cleaning it and not just looking at all the cool stuff you’ve found.
Try A New Hairdo
We all knew this one already, but I can confirm that styling your hair does count as exercise. I heaved a sigh at that one because it turns out that I am not just weak, blow drying your hair does actually work your arm muscles. I probably still won’t blow dry my hair that often because it is far too much effort, but I included this one so we can all feel better about ourselves.
Walk the Talk
Who else randomly walks around their home while talking on the phone? Don’t ask me why I do this, especially in my house because the reception is so bad that literally I have to keep calling people back because I walk into an area without service. Awkward. However I won’t be stopping anytime soon, especially when walking allows you to get your step count up. I’ll have to try and remember this one when I am back at university because I really should call my mother more often.
I will probably still complain about cleaning just as much as the next person. And I probably won’t use my hair dryer much more either. However, I will be using the rest of these as often as I can because little and often is far better than nothing. Just you wait until I get back to university and I am complaining about how unfit I am because I haven’t been properly working out in the past couple of weeks. But hey, its the holidays and this list can do me till then
Anyone else facing the same predicament? Do you have any other ideas I could use? Let me know in the comments below and we can all chat about how lazy we are, yet still be please that we are engaging in a fitness discussion. You get points for that right?
I have always been a morning person. I blame my mother for this one. We used to have a rule in our house where we were only allowed to watch TV in the mornings. I think when mum developed this rule she intended it to be for about thirty minutes while we ate our breakfast.
However, she did not anticipate my brother and I getting up at 6am every day to watch cartoons before school. When I was twelve, I began 5am morning trainings. So while other teenagers where lying in bed, savouring those last few minutes before getting up for school, I was already swimming laps in the town pool. Even now, I like to wake up early. It’s a habit. A rather useful one. One I want the rest of you to develop. So read on to learn the vast benefits to waking up early and how to do it effectively to get the most out of your day.
Benefits to Waking Up Early
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like actually waking up or getting ready. When my alarm goes off in the morning there is nothing I would rather do than turn it off and go back to sleep. The only thing that stops me is the mere fact that I have to get up. There are too many benefits to waking up early that I don’t want to miss out on. These include…..
Getting up early makes you more productive.
If you are waking up at 6am, there best be a good reason for it! I always use my mornings to go to the gym or workout, however I have also found it is a good time to study. Many people also use mornings as a way to improve their wellbeing. I haven’t really tried that yet but it is definitely something you should look into. Pick a reason to get up and use it as motivation!
Better Sleep Patterns.
The thought of getting up early is a great motivator to make sure you are in bed at a reasonable hour. When I was a swimmer, I used to be in bed at 8pm every night. While I am much more relaxed about my bedtimes now, I always ensure I get at least seven hours sleep. Which means going to bed before midnight
More Peaceful Morning
Very few people want to be up before the sun. Which is excellent for us morning folk. The gym is always quieter, there is barely any traffic (depending on where you live) and you don’t have to fight anyone for the shower. As a shy introvert myself, the thought of less people around is a great motivator to get up.
Everyone Has A Purpose
You will not see anybody wake up at 6am and then spend the next few hours lazing around. People up at this time are healthy, motivated and energised. This makes it a great atmosphere, especially if you are feeling particularly tired. There won’t be anyone hogging the spin bikes while they sit on their phones barely pedalling. And there is not likely to be anyone around to distract you from your work, either at home or in the office.
Less Likely To Rush
We’ve all been there. Woken up with only a few minutes to throw on some clothes and run out the door. For some this can even be a daily event. Not when you wake up early though. When you have several hours to get things done before work you are able to relax, take time for yourself, and feel better. Spend time making yourself a delicious healthy breakfast. Have a few extra minutes to style your hair or pick out some nice looking clothes instead of the first ones you can find. You will feel better!
So How Do I Get Up Early?
That’s the real question isn’t it. With over ten years of experience under my belt, I know what works for me. Play around with these ideas though. Find something that gets you up and going.
Know why you are getting up and what you want to accomplish in the morning
Put out everything you need the night before
Make sure you get enough sleep
Have a nice alarm sound
Get out of bed the moment your alarm goes off-it makes it so much easier!
If the sun is up then open your curtains. Natural light really helps!
Keep busy-don’t give yourself time to fall back asleep
Have a delicious breakfast planned to look forward to.
If you like noise in the mornings, have an inspirational playlist ready. If not, try and limit the sound around you.
Be positive! This time will prepare you for the rest of the day. Only think happy thoughts
Learn to enjoy your morning-find little things you love about waking up early and use those to motivate yourself in the future.
Brag about your achievement. Not only will this make you feel proud, it will mean you have to keep doing it.
So there we go. All the benefits to waking up early and the secrets to help you get there.Are you guys morning risers too? Let me know in the comments below if this has helped anyone create a brilliant start to their day.