Tried and True Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

Tried and True Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

“Exercise is good for you” is a phrase that we hear often.

But do you ever wonder how broad the meaning of this phrase actually is?

We have categorized physical exercise as a way to shed those extra pounds or gain some muscle. I used to think the same, until one fine day, my doctor suggested me to work out to alleviate my anxiety issues.

I was silly not to ask him about why he suggested that. instead, I walked out of his office, thinking, “do I look fat to him?”

I stood on the digital weighing scale. It denied the fact that I have put on any extra kilos. I stood in front of the full-length mirror and examined myself turning around. Nope, no ugly flaps visible anywhere.

It was then when I finally decided to search for other benefits of exercise and its impact on mental health. From several pieces of research and expert advice to stories of people who claimed that it worked, I found plenty of evidence supporting the contribution of exercise towards mental peace.

Working out just doesn’t make you physically stronger, but mentally too!

The Healthy-Happy Life Connection Connection between Exercise and Mental Health

Read on to know how physical workout brings you mood stability and positively impact your mental capabilities.

1. Physical exercise is a way to releases stress

A while back, I read a motivating anonymous quote about stress, which was,

“One year from now, everything that you are stressed about won't even matter.”

Although it's true, the moments when stress overpowers us, everything seems bleak. It literally strips you off from your mental and physical abilities.

Stress Relief

Minimizing the harmful effects of stress is possible if you do exercise regularly. The first obvious benefit of it will be that your mind will be diverted away from stressful thoughts.

Through their randomized controlled trial, researchers from Spain found out that perceived stress can be reduced after five weeks of practicing both mindful meditation and physical exercise as recovery strategies. They added that physical activity had better results than mindful meditation.

Yoga, a form of physical exercise that focuses on body stretching and breathing, has been known to reduce stress. It lowers down the levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone.

Regular exercise will also regulate your adrenaline levels, another hormone that plays a crucial role in sending impulses to organs for a response.

2. Induces sleep

Insomnia is the leading cause of deterioration of mental health. It is linked with symptoms of anxiety and depression, on which exercise can pose a strong impact.

Why sleep is important

If you want a sound and restful sleep, start working out regularly. Health experts suggest a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise session every day to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.

Be careful not to work out too close to bedtime, as that may hamper your sleep. Try to go for a jog or exercise early in the morning.

3. Eases symptoms of depression and anxiety

It's tough to pick yourself up and have enough motivation to exercise if you have depression. However, being able to do that will alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety quite efficiently.

It will help if you start with less intense physical activity like gardening or walking whenever you notice anxiety symptoms are kicking in. Once you start seeing improvement in your symptoms, you can go for moderate-intensity workouts. Experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise for up to 5 days a week to cure symptoms of depression.

Reduces depression

The key is to be regular and focus on positivity for better and long-lasting outcomes.

4. Reduces fatigue

Poor diet, irregular sleep patterns, and our never-ending relationship with our devices pose a harmful impact on our mental health. Without doing any strenuous work, we tend to feel fatigued.

The ‘feel-good' hormones Endorphins are released when you start doing exercise. Endorphin release gives your energy a significant boost that can help subside tiredness.

Consequently, you will feel more energized, alert, and motivated.

In 2008, a study was conducted on sedentary young adults who started doing moderate to low intensity exercise. Favorable outcomes were achieved after a period of 6 weeks, where participants reported relief in fatigue symptoms and high energy levels.

5. Provides an outlet for frustration and irritation

I grew up watching action movies where the protagonist often unleashes his anger on the poor punching bag. It turns out; it actually makes sense.

The physical work you do while doing exercise gives you an outlet for your intense feelings like anger, frustration, and irritability. These feelings pose severe effects on our physical and mental health and force us to make impulsive decisions that may backfire later.

Try venting them out with physical activity like running or punching a pillow to curb these kinds of feelings. You can also use your negative emotions productively by grabbing a mop and cleaning your house the next time you feel frustrated over anything.

6. Instills feelings of joy by endorphin release

As stated above, exercise releases endorphins, which mitigate negative feelings. When you engage in physical activity, your brain's oxygen supply is increased, and endorphins are released. As a result, your serotonin levels are elevated, and the mood is regulated.

Along with endorphins and serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help improve our mood.

But do we have to do long workouts daily to achieve that?

Research suggests that as less as 15 minutes of physical activity every day or several times a week can increase your positive vibes. It means that you can enjoy feelings of joy even if you take a 15-minute walk around your area in your comfortable tank top and PJ shorts! Personally, for me, going outdoors, socializing a bit, and looking at nature is enough to feel happiness and contentment.

The takeaway?

Short but regular physical activity is way more useful to boost mental health than prolonged strenuous exercise done occasionally.

7. Suggested by health practitioners to manage several mental health issues

As exercise prevents cognitive decline, it is highly recommended by doctors to treat and manage several mental illnesses. In conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and depression, negative thoughts are uncontrollable.

Hence, the feel-good and motivational impact of exercise is useful to provide the much-needed positivity to patients suffering from these conditions. It also curbs the feelings of social withdrawal and low self-esteem.

Exercise increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF. It is a protein that helps grow new brain cells and enhances the life of existing ones. Exercise programs tailored to patients suffering from mental illnesses can have a tremendous impact on their recovery.

Summing up

Apart from losing fat, treating cardiovascular diseases, and controlling diabetes, exercise will also effectively contribute to your mental health and peace.

The impact of physical exercise on our bodies is tremendous. Not only physical but mental well-being can be achieved if we indulge in regular exercise.

Depending on your ability and interest, you can choose a sport like a football, badminton, swimming, cycling, or running as an alternative to working out.

Playing a sport will give you even higher motivation.

Prioritizing mental health is extremely important to improve our quality of life and be a productive and positive member of society. Therefore, start being physically active to work on your mental health from today.


 

A Spicy Full-Body Workout with Resistance Bands

A Spicy Full-Body Workout with Resistance Bands

Who needs the gym for a workout when you have resistance bands?

Resistance bands are lightweight powerhouses that can make the difference for your workout. They are a fabulous alternative to machines, they are perfect for compound exercises, and they engage not only the main muscle groups but also your stabilizing muscles.

Resistance bands are also a good choice if you are recovering from an injury or are older and need to work slowly. They are also useful if you are someone who needs to slow down and benefit from a bit of mindfulness in your workouts.

Let's look at some exercises to get a full-body workout with resistance bands.

The Best Full-Body Exercises with Resistance Bands

For these exercises, all you'll need is some booty bands. And if you haven't got yours yet, you can find booty bands here.

Squats

Squats are really good for your lower body, and they work the muscles that we use when we get in or out of bed or sit down. In other words, they target your calves, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductors, as well as your core muscles and your lower back.

Squats are great all-round exercises because they work several muscles at once.

Put the booty band around your thighs, just above your knees. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Move your right foot out to go down into a squat.

Keep your back straight. The resistance band should be quite taut.

Bring your right foot back to start. Then do the same with the left foot. Repeat as many reps as needed.

Note: For your arms, you can either keep your hands on your hips or stretch your arms out in front of you each time you dip into a squat.

Variation: You can follow this exercise with squat leg lifts by lifting one leg up and out to the side while you come up out of the squat.

Bridge

Bridge exercises help you strengthen your hamstrings and core muscles and the muscles in your butt and lower back. Bridge exercises are also a great way to improve your core stability as they target your hips, too, especially if you're using resistance bands at the same time.

With your feet flat on the floor, lie down on a mat on your back. Your knees should be bent. Have the booty band around your thighs as before, above your knee joints.

Raise the hips into a bridge position while pushing your thighs out to the side to tighten the band. Hold in the top spot, squeeze your buttocks as you bring your knees back together. Lower your hips back down onto the mat. That's one rep. Repeat as needed.

Abductor Pulses

Abductor pulses are perfect for working your hip muscles, giving you strength and balance and flexibility. Your hip muscles are what help you stand or balance on one leg.

Still lying down on your mat, move the booty band down around your calves. Bring your legs up to have your feet pointing straight up towards the ceiling. Now pulse gently out towards the sides. You should feel your abductors working!

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles, all at the same time! The muscles that jumping jacks target specifically are your glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps. Your abdominals and shoulders are working too. An excellent full-body exercise!

Still keeping the booty band around your calves, do some jumping jacks. You should feel the burn!

Standing Rowing

These standing rowing exercises work your deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius, and even your biceps.

Stand and have your feet hip-width apart and the booty band around your hands. Lean slightly forward with your arms straight out in front of you, hands pointing down towards the ground. Your palms should be facing each other.

Now keep your arms the same distance apart as you row towards your body. Think of bringing your elbows to meet your sides. Imagine a robot rowing a boat, and you'll be in perfect form!

Pulldowns (lateral)

Lateral pulldowns work the most massive muscle in your back, the latissimus dorsi, which helps keep your spine stable and therefore assists you with good posture.

In the same standing position, hold one end of the booty band in each hand with your arms straight up above your head. Pull down with your right arm, bending your elbow. You want to aim for your right hand to come to shoulder height.

Make sure to keep the left arm straight while you do this. You'll feel the resistance! Bring your right arm back up above your head. Repeat as needed.

Now repeat the same thing with the left arm.

Arm Pulses

These arm pulses will work your arm muscles and your chest muscles, specifically your shoulders, back, triceps, and biceps.

Put your arms out straight from your body. With the booty band wrapped around the outside of your hands, have your palms facing each other. Your arms should be shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.

Pulse your arms away from each other while raising them above your head. Pulse again on the way down until you return at the starting position. Repeat as needed.

Back Pulls

Back pulls work your back as well as your arms.

Stand in the same position as the arm pulses exercise. Holding one end of the booty band in each hand, put your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing down.

Bend your arms while keeping your elbows level with your shoulders to pull the band back towards your chest. You want your hands to come back far enough to touch your chest.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers work every area of your body from your head to your toes! They are also excellent for building strength, stability, endurance, and agility. A total body workout!

If you want the full list of muscles, here it is your butt, abs, back, hip flexors, quads, triceps, deltoids, and hamstrings.
With the booty band around your wrists, get into the plank position. Do mountain climbers, keeping your hands far enough apart so that the band is taut.

Sit-Ups

Sit-ups work not only your abdominal muscles, but also your hip flexors, neck, chest, and obliques. They help you gain core stability, and they also help improve your posture since you are also working your glutes and lower back.
Sitting on your mat, have your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.

Have the booty band around your wrists as in the mountain climbers exercise. This time though, you'll be moving back slowly to lie down on the mat and then sit up again while retaining the band taut between your arms. Repeat these sit-ups as needed.

Resistance band conclusion

Start with a low amount of reps and work your way up. Best to increase gradually and stay consistent with a workout routine than to go full-out and quit.

Just remember that while you're building strength, you're improving your flexibility, endurance, posture, balance, and stability.

Get in a full-body workout without ever stepping foot into the gym with these simple exercises! Enjoy this full-body workout with resistance bands!

7 Ways to Stay Fit Together as a Family

7 Ways to Stay Fit Together as a Family

When it comes to family activities, many things are done together, whether it is watching a favorite TV show, going out to eat, or some other family activity.

What is sometimes overlooked or not placed as a high priority is family fitness together? Each member of the family is usually left to do whatever they want when it comes to exercising, and so on.

In some cases, this works well, but coming up with a family fitness plan is also a great option. As you will see from this article, it isn't going to be all running, burpees, etc., either. Most of these ways to stay fit are not going to feel like working out because they will be so much fun.

So regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of fitness, use these seven ways to stay fit together as a family to provide inspiration and good fitness habits. Before you know it, you will be enjoying staying active, eating healthier, and living a more full life.

#1. Go to the Park

A local park is an excellent way to have fun while being active. Whether it is running around playing tag, throwing the frisbee, or really, whatever you can think of. The more you can have fun with it and get moving, the more you will be able to work on your fitness. If you do it right, you will be focused on having fun, and it won't feel like fitness at all.

To make it even more fun, invite some friends with kids to come out and join you. Before you know it, you will have a big group and will be able to play any games that you can come up with.

#2. Play Sports

This could be done at the park, backyard, gym, or anywhere you have space, but playing sports is an excellent way to stay fit. Whether it is shooting hoops in the driveway, throwing the football, or kicking the soccer ball around, there are so many options. And, you don't have to be a professional athlete to do it either. Regardless of skill level, get out there and have fun with it.

When you do play a sport, make sure that it has a fitness aspect to it. For example, you probably won't get very much out of standing around playing catch with a football. But, if you are running around, running routes, or playing a game, you will get a lot more out of it.

What works really well is playing sports in the park with a group of people. So maybe think about combining playing sports and going to the park. Before you know it, you will have something fun to do each week and a way to not only get in better shape but also to do life together.

#3. Train for a 5K

Running a 5K might not seem like the most appealing thing to do, but you have to remember that you can run it at your own pace. This is one of the reasons why this is such a great family fitness activity. Whether you want to walk, jog, or try to beat your personal best, you have the options.

The other reason it is such a good activity is that it gives you something to train for. In building up to running your 5K, you will be able to all run or walk as a family and know that you are preparing for something. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the motivation to run, but this will give you one.

The last reason why running a 5K is fun to do as a family is that most of them come with a lot of fanfare and other activities. Most are an event in themselves with shirts, sponsors, and food and drink in some cases afterward. All of this will make the difficulty of running the 5K worth it and keep it fun.

#4. Family Workout

You don't have to be an expert to come up with your own family workout. Get online and do a little research, and you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for. There are plenty of great fitness websites with the information you need, it is up to you, though, to take advantage of it.

health is the greatest wealth - family fitness quote

Just make sure that you are customizing the workout to your family's needs. Set it up so that it is challenging, but also fun. And, make sure that whether it is bodyweight exercises or something else, that way you can adjust the difficulty of each exercise. That way, everyone will be able to work out at their own pace.

Also, when doing your family workouts, make sure to keep things fun and fresh. The more you can mix up the exercises and keep things fun with different challenges, the more it will feel like a game rather than a workout.

#5. Make Up a Game to Play

If playing organized sports aren't your thing, or maybe you just want to mix it up, make up a game. Go out in the backyard or to the park and let your creative game juices flow. It could be some kind of hybrid game or one that was made up on the spot.

Either way, get out there, get active, and have a ton of fun. As with all of these keys, the more fun you are having with it, the less you will focus on the fitness aspect.

#6. Healthy Meals and Snacks

Being more active is a great start to being more fit as a family. What is equally important, though, is what goes on the dinner table and is eaten throughout the day. The more you can fuel your body with the right things to eat, the more energy you will have, and the more results you will see.

Don't panic, though. I am not talking about a complete overhaul of everything in your kitchen. But as you are reading this, I am sure you are already thinking of foods that you could be cutting out. A lot of the time, it is more about knowing healthier alternatives.

For example, instead of grabbing a bag of chips, make a healthy snack or fruit smoothie for yourself. With the right information, you will not only be able to eat healthier, but you will also be able to enjoy it.

#7. Have Fun With It

This has already been mentioned several times throughout the different points, but it really is the key to it all. If you feel like it is a chore to do something, you won't want to do it. On the flip side, if it is fun, it is going to be something that is looked forward to, even if it is challenging at points.

This goes for more than just the physical side of things as well. It is critical that you are also having fun with new food choices. The more you can have fun snacks and healthy meals, the easier it will be to forget about some of those other less healthy dishes. It all starts with your mindset, though. So have fun with it!

7 Ways to Stay Fit Together as a Family Conclusion

Living a healthier and more active lifestyle is not a form of punishment or some chore. Yes, it may take some getting used to, but it will open up a whole new world of activity, energy, and fun. Before you know it, you will be pressing forward on the path of living a healthier lifestyle.

Working on being fit together as a family will also open up more bonding opportunities for your family.

Every time you go to the park, play a sport or do a family workout, you build memories and are able to do life together.

This is what it is all about. And, maybe most importantly, you will teach your kids how to build healthy habits that they can use for the rest of their life.


 This article was written by Kyle Ohman, the co-founder of BasketballHQ.com and ListsForAll.com. Along with playing sports and being active, Kyle enjoys writing and being a part of the fitness community. 


 

How to Make Fitness Fun for the Whole Family

How to Make Fitness Fun for the Whole Family

You undoubtedly know all about why and how physical exercise benefits health. It helps in controlling and losing weight, reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancer, as well as a lot of other things.

But despite all this awareness, even if you do your best to be as active as possible, at times, you need to be a couch potato rather than do 45 minutes run on a treadmill or lift weights. You also may find it challenging to pull your kids away from their favorite high-tech toys and make them go outside.

It makes perfect sense that sometimes you don't feel the energy to work out, especially when you are a working parent. The main reason for this lies in the simple fact that many of us perceive it as something that we need to do, the same like we need to go to wash dishes and all the other chores. But if you turn things around and begin to think of fitness as something enjoyable that you can do together as a family, the perspective might change.

As you already know, it is very important to take care of your wellbeing and overall health. We always strive to give you the best information related to things that are necessary for you to be in excellent shape.

That said, we prepared an article that will provide you with some suggestions to enjoy family fitness activities with your loved ones.

8 Leisurely Ways to Make Fitness Great Fun for the Whole Family

1) Have a Walk

It is one of the simplest activities you can think of and doesn’t require any equipment nor individual planning. You can agree to go for a walk through the local forest every evening after dinner. To make it more interesting, you can make up a game to play while walking. For example, you can all look for the biggest pinecone or the funniest lucking leaf.

2) Play Outdoor Games

Children nowadays grow up with various tech gizmos constantly in their hands, and if they do some of the activities outside, it's only in PE class. But exercise is vital for the proper physical and mental development of a child.

Kids being active for life

Kids, however, don't understand why they need to be active, so it is on you to find ways to engage them and make them spend more free time outside.

There are plenty of games that both you and your kids will enjoy if you incorporate them into the daily routine. If your kids are little — play hopscotch, jump-rope workout, or hide and sick. With older ones, you can play soccer, badminton, basketball, or games like obstacle course adjusted, of course, to a child's level. Of course, you need attractive equipment to engage your kid to the playing, such as best soccer balls, badminton rackets,

3) Family Cycling

If you, your partner, and kids know how to ride a bike, then this is another excellent activity that you can do all together.

We live in times when a lot of people barely see each other when they get home from school or work. Family biking trips give you a chance to spend some quality time with your loved ones, explore your area, and stay in great shape. It is an excellent exercise that prevents obesity, improves heart health, and reduces stress.

What is interesting about cycling is that when you aren't alone, you don't even think about it as a workout.

4) Work in the Garden With Your Kids

If you have a small garden, go out with your kids to take care of the plants. It is another fun activity that certainly doesn't seem like an exercise. Kids usually love to water the plants. When they get older, they can also pull out the weed and work with some tools.

5) Make an Active Holiday Gathering

Everyone loves holidays and celebrations. It's the time when we are off from work; we share great moments with friends and family members. And of course, food is one of the essential things in these situations.

Well, it is equally important not to neglect our health in these times. There are usually a lot of people at a family gathering and as many team sports that you can enjoy together. Before you know it, you have a real sports match going on.

6) Plan an Active Vacation

It is perfectly reasonable that you need to rest when you are on vacation. But it doesn't have to mean that you will spend ten days just sitting on a beach or in the cabin in the woods. Plan to go on a skiing trip or a camping/hiking tour with your partner and kids. You will all enjoy spending time in nature and learning new skills.

7) Dance While Doing Chores

Who said that doing house chores needs to be boring?

Put on some music while you are vacuuming and cleaning and start singing in dancing. Get your kids involved as well. Not only it will get them moving, but also help them develop a more positive attitude towards all these dull tasks.

8) Get a Dog

Bringing a dog home gives a new dimension to family life. It is a great joy but also a great responsibility. But if you and your loved ones feel that you are ready to provide a happy home for a furry family member, you will see that this is the best decision you made. As for your fitness level – well, you have to take the dog out for a walk three times per day, so it is safe to say that it will be significantly improved.

And of course, feel free to join the free-28 day Whole Life Fitness Manifesto to get free workouts, health and wellness information, and guidance.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of family fitness activities. We hope that we inspired you to get more active and go out with your partner and kids.

Remember, nothing is complicated if you find the right way.

Do you have some suggestions for exciting activities? What do you like to do together with your kids?


Author's Bio:

Elizabeth Barlettah is a personal trainer with a nutrition degree. She shares her own gym and healthy tips even how to become flexible via her blog.


 

Golf for Beginners: Don’t Forget to Do This

Golf for Beginners: Don’t Forget to Do This

People choose to play sports for many reasons. For golf, you’ll most likely be into it if you’re not interested in contact sports. Unlike basketball, in which you have to rip the ball from another player, or soccer, in which you have to side-tackle someone at some point to get to the goal. You have to react and move very quickly to take control of the ball and increase your chances of winning.

But golf is none of those things. So much of the game depends on one person: you.

It’s about taking control of your mind and your muscle.

Patience tags along with that control. Truth be told, the elegance of golf is dictated by patience. With the ball being so tiny and the playing field a whole lot bigger than that in any other sport out there, you have to have a great amount of the virtue.

If you’re just starting out in golf, how you react and how you learn from difficult situations matter above everything else. Once you’re on the greens, a lot of external factors come into play: the weather conditions, grass surface, and natural obstacles in the field itself, (e.g., trees, bunkers, and puddles).

If you’re at that phase where you’re ready to commit to a lifetime of golf, there are a couple of things you should know.

Basic Golf Etiquette

There’s no denying the fact that golf can be intimidating at the beginning. If you’ve been invited to play at a private club or if it’s your first time to do so, you need to know about the basics.

Portrait Of Four Friends Enjoying A Game Golf

It’s always better to be early than to be late. In any kind of social setting, being early always leaves the right impression and shows respect. And make no mistake—golf clubs are social platforms in their own right.

If you arrive at the club before your host does, you can check in with the receptionist or available attendant and let them know that you’re a guest. Once you say the name of the club member you’re waiting for and playing with, the attendant will let you know where to go and make you feel right at home.

Usually, your host will tell you everything you need to know about the club.

But while waiting, you can get started by letting one of the club attendants guide you to the locker room. You need not worry because most private clubs always have a place where guests can change into their playing gear. That means you won’t have to change your shoes in the parking lot.

Spikeless golf shoes are your sure bet, but tennis shoes and other types of running footwear should be fine too. Long pants and collared shirts should definitely be your go-to clothing.

Female golf player

If you look at the mirror and see that you’re dressed the same way you did when you first met your in-laws, then you’re good to go. Also, it’s best to pack a casual blazer just in case your host invites you to dinner after playing.

When it comes to tips and fees, your host will graciously work that out for you and will most probably let you know a day before you’re playing schedule. Nevertheless, it’s always good practice to offer to pay for guest fees and caddies and maybe a reasonable tip for your attendants. Since it’s your first time, it’s always better to leave a good impression and get to know some of the people you’ll probably be seeing on your next visit.

Get a Grip and Swing

The fastest way to learn how to swing is to take lessons from a professional. If you’d rather get a feel of what the sport is like first, you’ll probably take the most common route of all: cash in a favor from a friend. It’s a bonus if your friend happens to be a professional.

You need to start with a solid grip. For right-handed players, the lead hand will be the left hand while the trailing hand will be the right hand. If you are left-handed, you will be using the right hand as your lead and your left for trailing.

Golfer performs a golf shot from the fairway. Sunny summer day.

To pull off one of the most common grips in golf, the Vardon grip, you need to hold the club with your left hand and grasp the club as if you were shaking someone else’s hand. Wrap your right hand around the club.

Place your right little finger tightly in the space between your left index finger and your middle finger. Move the club back and forth, and make sure it doesn’t slip down when you’re swinging.

When you’re swinging for the first time, it’s best to focus less on the technical aspect of the swing for now. Try to copy as accurately as you can what your friend or anyone else who’s with you at that particular time on the greens do. You need to be patient on your first few tries because it’s not exactly going to be a pleasant experience. You can expect it to be a challenging one all the way through.

Make sure you have a good stance and alignment. You can do this by doing a quick measurement. Place your club on the ground, pointing at the target. Get a second club, place it parallel to the first.

Align your feet along the line, and square your hips parallel to the target line. Bend forward from the hips, knees ready with your feet apart. Straighten your back, and reach for the ball.

Start with a short game, like a chip or putter shot, anything close to the green. Your hands should be on the grip with your thumbs pointing straight down the club. Get your feet positioned parallel to the target line. Always remember that parallel is your default stance in golf.

When holding on to the shaft, your arms and club should visually form the letter Y at rest. When you make the backswing, it should look like the letter L. Same goes for the forward swing.

Try swinging back and forth a couple of times, finding the Y and L positions that you’re comfortable with. Practice by doing a couple of swings without the ball until your hands, arms, and shoulders have adjusted to the weight of the club and your swing feels smooth or at least not too awkward.

With a straight arm and the shaft positioned in a 90-degree angle, if you are right-handed, you want to start your initial golf swing takeaway from the ball into your backswing by putting your weight on your right leg with your stomach facing front. When you get to the forward swing, transfer your weight to your left leg for the finish.

golf shot from sand bunker golfer hitting ball from hazard

Practice swinging back and forth and moving your weight left to right a few more times before doing it with the ball. Weight shifting is important to get you the power you need for your swing, especially when you start playing long courses.

Practice playing with each club that you have so you’ll start building muscle memory for them in terms of weight, how they feel on your arms, shoulders, and legs when you take a swing. Start with clubs that are easier to hit, like the 9-iron driver. Skip the 5-iron for later when you’ve got a good feel of the easier ones.

Make sure you finish with a balanced swing. It will get easier and feel more natural the more you practice swings. For good measure, you can put on an elastic sports tape before getting on the course to reduce feeling any kind of soreness when you get home.

Playing the Game

When you’ve locked down your grip, stance, and swing, then you’re just about ready to take your first hit. If you’ve already done that, then you’re ready to learn about scoring and playing the game.

Start on a short par, a three-course hole for your first few games. It’s not as restricting as the other pars are, and you get to enjoy the view of the course and the company you’re playing with since the longest hole is roughly 150 yards away. Sort out with your fellow players who gets to hit the ball first. But if it’s your first time, best to offer that chance to the other players.

Male golfer putting a golf ball in to hole

When scoring, keep in mind that you have to count one stroke for every time you hit the ball. Each player will have his or her own tee box to play from (red, blue, or white). If your ball lands on a bunker or in a hazard spot, you can drop another ball near it and receive a one-stroke penalty.

Remember that there may be a couple of players behind you. Try to play at a good pace. Choose the right club, walk toward the ball, and maintain a proper stance.

With your eyes on the target, take the time to focus only on the ball and visualize your shot. Take one or two practice swings first without making contact with the back. When you’re confident enough, steady your position, breathe in, take a swing, and let it rip.

A Few More Things to Remember

The lessons you learn from the moment you started playing the sport are the same lessons you’ll be facing as you become a better player. The great thing about golf is that it doesn’t change. It remains constant from the first day until the last day you play it.

At some point, you’ll have to say goodbye to the other sports you used to play once you’ve reached your thirties. The physical aspect and training required in other sports are simply not as sustainable as you grow older. You just can’t play basketball or soccer forever.

But not golf.

Golf is timeless in that sense.

There’s some comfort in knowing that it never has to end.

out on the golf course


 

7 Benefits of Working Out in the Morning to Lose Weight

7 Benefits of Working Out in the Morning to Lose Weight

When it comes to living a happy and healthy life, it’s increasingly easy to spend a lot of time making the wrong choices.

For example, most of us prefer to do exercises in the evening, treating it as the last ‘job’ of the day. While that might sound like inspired advice, it’s actually anything but. If you want to make the most of every day to actually start seeing results, then you need to start working out on a more regular basis.

How you choose to do your morning workout will be down to personal choice, but the benefits of carrying it out are easy to see. Here are some awesome benefits of working out in the morning—including how it makes the rest of your day a touch more productive.

7 Key Benefits of Working Out in the Morning

1. Your metabolism will receive a natural boost

For one, a morning workout gets the body going. This means that by the time you have your breakfast and start heading into work, your body is already starting to burn off some of those calories. An active body is one that needs a powerful metabolism, and you will find that metabolism can be quickly enhanced by simply doing morning workouts.

At first, it might seem like a hard thing to do. But before long, you will get used to the benefits it brings. You’ll notice you are getting rid of more calories because your body is burning more calories earlier on in the day.

This means that breakfast, lunch, and dinner will all benefit from faster metabolism, reducing overall weight gain.

2. Your days will be more productive and active

You will find the challenges of the day becoming a lot less apparent. Because you are more physically active now, you will also feel the mental benefits as you become more alert. If an unexpected problem arises out of nowhere, you'll be in the right frame of mind to tackle and defeat it.

The benefits of doing that will be something you'll quickly start to feel and come to appreciate even more. If you are serious about starting your day on a more productive note, then you should find ways to get active as soon as you possibly can.

3. You should find it easier to burn off more fat

If your main concern is to get rid of fat, then you should find time to exercise before having something to eat in the morning. If you do this, then your body will use the fat from what you ate the night before as fuel.

This has many benefits, including the fact that it helps boost the fat burning capacity of your body. Exercising on an empty stomach can be tough at first, but if you keep at it then you should start seeing changes eventually. It will take some work and it will probably need a lot of power mid-way through the exercise regime when your stomach begins to rumble, but if you want to lose weight and burn more fat, then this is a good way to achieve those results.

4. You’ll develop a sense of self-discipline

Exercising in the morning disciplines you mentally. You will be much more likely to get through the other tasks that you would normally say no to. Before long, you will find that this added discipline into your system will have you persevering with tasks that might have had you throw your hands up in the past.

Working out in the morning may be tough at first, but then you'll realize it’s actually not so bad. You'll see that your trepidation about morning workouts is unfounded, and you'll simply begin enjoying it a little bit more.

For this reason, you should make sure that you develop a sense of self-discipline. This will help you start seeing more positive results and be more open-minded to doing things you wouldn’t normally do.

5. You will be much more likely to build muscle

You’ll also find that you are much more likely to get through the challenge of building muscles if you workout in the morning.

Why? Due to higher testosterone levels, you will start seeing an efficient development of the muscles of your body than when you have been busy during the day.

Working out at night when your body is already tired and stressed is not going to produce your desired results, trust me. Instead, you will find muscle building to be a more strenuous task, and you will lose motivation to keep going.

If you are serious about making a lasting improvement to muscle development, then you would do very well indeed to start carrying out your workouts in the morning when your body is in the right mood.

Gym Equipment has created a list of 55 exercises you can try the next time you hit the gym in the morning.

55 exercises gym workout infographic

6. You’ll be more likely to sleep better at night

Naturally, using up all of that energy early on in the day means that you can hit the pillow early.

If you are someone who finds it hard to try and get into the frame of mind to work out at night, this gives you an excuse to simply not go – why do something when you cannot give 100%?

It’s an easy lie to tell yourself, though, and you're probably going to put off working out. Again. Do your workout at night, and you’ll not only struggle to give it your all, but you’ll still be revved up when it's time for bed.

7. Working out early can help reduce stress

Once you start seeing and enjoying the benefits of working out in the morning, getting it out of the way first thing during the day is sure to set you up to be more productive.

If you are dealing with a big day ahead and worried that you might struggle to cope up with the demands and the pressure, there's a solution for that. Because your body's cortisol level has decreased, you can easily get through more stressful scenarios and handle any situation with ease.

So, if you're currently finding it hard to live life on your own terms, you’ll get a hell lot out of getting involved with a regular exercise regime in the morning.


Author Bio: James Adams

James Adams is a community manager at Proteinbee.co.uk. He is passionate about website operations and learning the latest web trends. When he is not working, James enjoys working out at the gym and cycling.


 

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