Best Workouts You Won’t Even Notice You’re Doing

Woman with dog

There is now a continuous influx of new studies that point to the many incredible benefits that regular exercise can bring, ranging from a lower risk of heart disease to a reversal of the aging process. While many may enjoy structured workout routines, these are not for everybody, so here are a few workouts that are guaranteed to get you fit, without you even noticing this happening.

Walking Your Dog 
Your dog needs exercise just as much as you do, so heading off for a long dog walk is a great way to take care of both of you. Being around animals in general also boosts your physical health and mental well-being in so many other ways, so if you are guilty of often letting dog walks slide, now is the time to change that. If you do not own a dog but would still like to enjoy the many benefits that come from spending time with one, there are now many services out there that enable you to borrow someone else’s dog for a few hours, or, alternatively, you could simply find a friend’s dog, or a neighbourhood dog, that would benefit from some extra exercise.

Woman with child

Playing With Your Kids 
Whether you choose chase, hopscotch or jump rope, playing with your children is a great way to boost all of your fitness levels while creating some long-lasting memories. Each of these activities are effective ways to burn calories, and will also teach your children about the importance of exercise from an early age.

Dancing 
Dancing involves moving your body energetically and continuously, both of which are perfect for keeping your heart rate elevated while burning calories. If you are wanting to learn a new skill at the same time, then a dance class would be ideal for you, but the same benefits can be had simply by dancing to some music at home. All you need to do is blast your favorite songs and let the beat move you, which will, when done on a regular basis, strengthen your heart, tone your muscles and improve your balance.

Gardening

Gardening 
Gardening for around 30 minutes a day can burn up to 300 calories, providing that you are actually moving around, digging and planting, rather than just standing still and admiring the view. Gardening would be classed as a moderate level cardiovascular exercise, and its benefits include everything from a healthier immune system to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. If you like the idea of gardening but do not know where to start, begin by sowing some seeds of a food that you love to eat, as the sense of accomplishment that comes from growing your own produce is a great motivator to spend more time in your garden.

Exercise is key when it comes to staying healthy, but this does not mean that you need to develop a structured exercise regime. Instead, by spending half an hour to an hour a day on one of these activities, you will be gaining the benefits of a regular workout without having to feel as though you are actually working out.

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You Should Give Improv a Go

Short for improvisation, improv focuses on the spontaneous creation of action without any pre-planning, and while it may tend to be taught as a comedic art form, there is so much more to it than this. Taking an improv class has so many different benefits, from boosting confidence to training the brain, so even if improv may feel like something that is so far removed from your comfort zone, it is still most definitely worth giving it a go.

Dancing class

A Confidence Booster
There is no getting around the fact that you will feel silly performing some of the improvisation tasks you will be asked to do in a class, but this is exactly what helps to build confidence. Rather than worrying about what you look like and what others are thinking of you, improv teaches you to let go and live in the moment, which will give you a whole new air of confidence. This is the reason why improv is often recommended to those that suffer from anxiety and shyness, as it can really help to change your perspective on life.

Public Speaking Skills
Research has shown that performing and speaking in public is, on average, the biggest fear in the USA, even coming in front of the fear of dying. Rather than allowing social anxiety to hold you back, take an improv class to help improve your public speaking skills.

Public speaking

A Brain Trainer
Improvisation classes are a great way to train your brain to act faster, which is helpful in so many different situations. The fact that improvisation does away with all pre-planning and preparation means that your brain needs to organize ideas, emotions and sentences straight away, which is a fantastic form of brain training.

What to Expect at an Improv Class
Not knowing what to expect can often be the most frightening part of taking an improv class for many, but, no matter what your class may consist of, you can be sure that you will have plenty of fun. Improv takes place in a group setting, and most of the learning will be done via games and exercises, with the whole group involved. There is very rarely individual work to do, meaning that nervous beginners will find safety and comfort in numbers. Many people that take an improv class for the first time feel as though they have to try extremely hard to be funny, but this is not the case. Let go of any expectations that you may have, and just enjoy being in the moment. Taking this extra pressure off of yourself will enable you to really be free and make the most of the class.

Woman acting

Even if you are not looking to be an actor or performer, an improv class can still be extremely useful, as it will provide you with skills that you can apply to just about every area of your life. From boosting your confidence and aiding with social anxiety, to training your brain to work faster, improv classes will help to improve your whole outlook on life, and will be plenty of fun too.

Five Surefire Ways to Put a Smile on Your Face

January can be a hard month for many, but this does not need to be the case. Rather than letting the January blues get you down, here are five surefire ways to put a smile on your face and lift your mood right back up.

Woman making a list
A Bucket List Adventure
One of the most exciting ways to lift your mood is by doing something slightly crazy, that you would not usually do. If you have a bucket list of activities that you have been meaning to try, pick one of these and give it a go. Whether it be skydiving, rally driving or taking a day trip to a destination that you have always wanted to visit, heading off on an adventure will take you out of your comfort zone and leave you with a huge, accomplished grin by the end of it.

Baby Animals
No matter how low you may be feeling, spending some time with some cute, baby animals is a guaranteed way to put a smile on your face. Whether this means visiting a local petting zoo, a nearby animal sanctuary, or even your neighborhood rescue shelter, there are so many studies that show the benefits that spending time with animals can have on your mood, so seek out some new furry friends and spend some quality time with them.

Pamper Yourself
If you have been feeling especially stressed lately, then it could be well worth taking some time out to spend the day completely pampering yourself. This could include everything from at-home beauty treatments to a day at a spa, and will leave you feeling totally refreshed and ready to tackle the world again.

woman dancing
Dance It Out
One of the best, and easiest, ways to quickly lift your mood and get you smiling is to have a mini dance session at home. Simply put together a playlist of tunes that are guaranteed to have your feet moving, and blast this loudly while you rock your way around your home. Whether it be seventies disco or classic rock, choose songs that you know that you will not be able to resist, and turn to this playlist whenever you need a smile.

Learn a New Creative Skill
Studies have shown that when people are completely focused on learning a new skill, especially one that involves creativity, satisfaction levels are hugely elevated. Not only will this help you to stay alert and in control, but it will also leave you feeling energized and invigorated, all of which are bound to put a smile on your face. The skill that you choose can be anything that intrigues you, whether it be a dance class, a cooking class or an art or photography class.

If you have been finding yourself quite down lately, these methods are guaranteed to get you smiling again. Whether you spend an afternoon cuddling baby animals, or head off for a day of excitement and adventure, keep this tips in mind for the next time you need a quick pick-me-up.