Make Exercise More Exciting

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Whilst some people love exercise, others can find it a real chore. By taking steps to make exercise more fun, you can motivate yourself to stick to your fitness goals. Here are just several ways to make exercise more exciting.

Find a training buddy

Many people find that having a training buddy spurs them on. Not only is it a chance to work out, but also a chance to catch up with a friend. You may find that you’re both able to encourage one another to exercise when the other person is having a lazy day. If you’re of a similar ability, you can also compete against one another to help push one another. It’s a great solution for those that struggle to find the self-motivation to work out alone.

Join a class

You could also consider joining an exercise class. This could be an opportunity to meet new people and learn new things as well as getting fit. Popular examples include spin classes, CrossFit classes, group dance classes and martial arts clubs. If you’re a gregarious person that enjoys being around new people, this could be just what you need to make exercise more exciting.

Listen to music

Exercising to music can also make it a more fun experience as you can allow yourself to get lost in the music, taking you away from the physical discomfort of the exercise. Many people line up playlists of their favorite songs whilst exercises to keep them motivated. You could even explore new artists on Spotify and use it as a chance to discover new music.

Watch TV

There are lots of exercises that can be done in front of a TV. If you keep putting off going to the gym because you’d rather catch up with your favorite show, why not scrap the gym altogether and start exercising at home whilst watching your favorite TV shows. You could even consider buying a treadmill rather than going out jogging so that you can meet your running goals whilst watching TV.

Use gadgets and apps

If you love technology, it could be worth investing in a few gadgets and apps to help you train. If you love tennis, you could try looking for the best tennis ball machine on the market and create your own workout. If you love video games, you could even look into virtual reality games that help to get you fit. There are meanwhile plenty of apps that can record your progress and help you set goals.

Exercise in new places

Your workout could also be a chance to explore new places. Rather than going on the same jogging route, why not try using it as an opportunity to explore new places nearby. Similarly, if you always work out in the gym, you could try buying some of your equipment and finding new places to exercise such as your local park or your home. This could break you out your routine and make exercise more exciting.

Allow yourself rewards after training

You can also make exercise less of a chore by rewarding yourself after training. For example you could allow yourself to use the sauna as a pay-off for going to the gym, or you could allow yourself a milkshake as a reward for going on a run. Even if you dislike the workout itself, you’ll be excited enough by the reward that comes afterwards, helping to make exercise more enjoyable.

The Impact That Sports Can Have On Your Work Life

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Not everything we do has to be about our work or our career, and for some people, there’s plenty of motivation to learn a new sport and aim at becoming competitive on its own. If you’re a career-motivated kind of person, however, and you want every advantage that you can possibly get, then you might be ignoring the benefits that learning a sport could offer you. Here, we’re going to look at some of the surprising impacts that it can have on your work life.

Boost your mood

While we’re all becoming much more aware of the risks to our physical health, even in such seemingly innocuous work environments as the office, we have a long way to go when it comes to taking care of how work impacts our mental health, as well. Overtime, office politics, and pressure to succeed can all lead to stress and anxiety if left unchecked. Exercise is a fantastic stress buster as Help Guide shows. However, it’s also a natural mood booster. Sports offer even great mental benefits, as the time spent learning or practicing with others can help us ignore some of the physical strain of exertion and further release the endorphins that help skew our mood towards the more positive side.

Be more energetic and productive

Being in a better mood is already likely to help you be much more productive. However, the physical training that goes along with any sport is also likely to help increase your energy levels. Getting in a morning workout in particular is a great way to arrive in the workplace still feeling drowsy. You might be a little more physically tired, but your mind will be sharp and ready to work, helping you stay productive. What’s more, learning a sport is all about communicating, so it can even help you be of more value when it comes to collaborations and team meetings. Thanks to that, your efforts in the workplace are even more likely to be recognized because you’re clearly a more engaged employee.

Be detail-oriented and disciplined

Exercise requires a little learning but the key difference between simply exercising and learning a sport is that sports actively require that you learn and remember many different details of the discipline. Martial arts are a great example of a heavily detail-oriented sports. Judo Info shows that not only do you have to learn the physical forms and techniques, but even simple things like etiquette and the correct way to tie your belt. This can help you improve your memory and your ability to pay attention to the little details. The discipline learned as a result of sticking at a sport and witnessing your own improvement can help you become a lot more disciplined in the workplace. Motivation and discipline aren’t something that you have in a set quantity but rather they’re a mental muscle that requires training over time. Sports can be just the way to do.

Improve your stamina and dedication

Even if your workplace is an office, there’s no denying that work of any kind can be physically tiring. Staying focused and sharp for all that time is going to take its toll on you. Sports help you build not only skill, but stamina, strength, and focus. This means that it’s going to seriously benefit you when it comes to that crunch time and you simply have to put in the extra hours to finish off a project. Very Well Fit shows some great exercises and sports for building that stamina to help you put in the extra work when it’s most needed.

Spend less time off sick

It might seem like something of a minor point when compared to the transformative effect that sports can have on your life but spending less time off due to illness is a benefit that both you and your employers or clients can readily recognize. Not only does exercise improve your immune system significantly, but it also reduces your risks of developing a chronic condition. This includes things like diabetes and heart disease but also the prevalence of chronic pain in your back, joints, or neck. With fewer days off sick, you’re not only going to impress employers, but you’re also going to notice a marked uptick in your own productivity.

There are few things that can offer such a comprehensive transformation to your life as putting the time into fitness and healthy eating. Sports are a great way to structure them and to have a little fun with it, too.

Sport-Related Risks You Should Know Before Taking The Field

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Playing a sport is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy and socialize. 99% of players find they love the community as much as they enjoy the thrill of playing. Everyone will tell you about the positive sides of joining a club, and they should because the pros outweigh the cons.

However, it isn’t one-sided. Sports aren’t all created equal and some are more dangerous than others. Some are inherently risky right off the bat. Understanding the hazards before going out to play is essential to avoid unnecessary injuries.

With that in mind, here are the things to factor in before taking the field.

You Are Your Own Enemy

It’s not the people on the other team that do the most damage; it’s you. Amateurs like to think it’s a hobby so there is no need to take it too seriously. Forget about the pre-match routine as it’s over-the-top and for professionals. Saturday and Sunday league players can roll up and kick a ball or small a baseball without any preparation. The fact that you’re not a finely tuned machine means you need to warm-up more than anyone else. Injuries happen when the muscles aren’t warm and elastic enough for competition, so take twenty minutes at the start to train.

 

Injuries Impact Life Off The Field

You’re playing basketball and their point guard gets too rough. Before you know it, a bone is broken and you’re in agony. In this situation, the injury isn’t going to heal miraculously so other areas of your life will be affected. Think about work and how tricky it will be to type with one hand. A sports insurance policy should cover any serious accidents on the pitch, so don’t play without any cover. A personal injury lawyer can help secure compensation for an unnecessary injury. Although it sounds harsh, their negligence might result in a loss of earnings and you shouldn’t have to struggle because of their mistake.

It’s Mental As Well As Physical

A hobby can be addictive at first but it does get boring after a while. If there isn’t a break, the grind of playing again and again becomes monotonous. “So what?” most people think; it isn’t a massive problem. It is if the boredom causes you to stop working out altogether. Lots of people only get exercise through a sport, and if that ends, their health will suffer. Take a break every now and again so that the love for the game flourishes for a long time.

There’s A Balance

On the flip side, players shouldn’t treat the game with love and ignore their loved ones. Usually, it’s the excitement of a new part of your life which causes you to neglect the most important people. No one wants you to choose between the two, so it’s essential to find a perfect balance. If playing takes up a whole weekend, you might want to allocate one day for sport and the other for bonding.

Most spouses and other halves won’t like spending their weekend alone.

Avoiding The Long-Term Impact Of Violent Sports

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Since the dawn of time, people have always love to have a scrap. Whether for real or for fun, activities like MMA, boxing, and other violent sports are some of the very oldest, and have been practiced by people all over the world. Of course, while they might be great fun, though, fighting can take a serious toll on your body when you don’t treat it with the right level of respect. Joint pain, scarring, and even missing limbs can all come as a result of your time in the ring, especially if you don’t take the steps to avoid it. To help you out with this, this post will be giving you some pointers to enable you to keep yourself active in the sports you love, without ruining your body in the process.

The Sport Itself: This all starts with the activity you’re performing. Some martial arts and other fighting sports are much more dangerous than others, withy examples like boxing being responsible for a huge amount of injuries around the world. Impact is a key contributor when it comes to the pain you might suffer. Judo, for example, is a sport which consists mainly of grapples and holds, putting your body under very little strain in the long run. By choosing an option like this, you can easily avoid getting hurt while you have your fun.

The Equipment: Of course, even if you choose something fairly risky, there are still plenty of ways to make it safer. Companies like Safejawz have a wealth of experience when it comes to making equipment which can protect your body in the face of violence. It would only take on hard punch to take teeth out of your mouth, but a mouthguard could stop this from presenting any sort of risk. Most sports will have their own gear to use, and this makes it worth doing some research, especially with the current market expanding to include new options all the time.

The Training: When someone has spent a large part of their life involved with a sport, they will have a good insight into the things which can go wrong in it. As someone who is fairly inexperienced, using their knowledge to keep yourself out of trouble can be a great idea, and this is where training comes in. Before you ever get into a proper fight, it’s important to make sure that you have the background to be able to take part safely. This could mean taking regular classes for a few months before you step into the ring, but this will be worth it if it helps you to avoid suffering a long-term issue which will live with you into the future.

There are plenty of ways to make sure that the violent sports you take part in don’t cause problems in later life. Simply not taking part isn’t as option, especially when you feel very passionate about something, and this makes it hard for those who are conscious of the future. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be an issue, as there are loads of ways to take the danger out of fighting.

3 Benefits Of Morning Workouts

Successful people wake up earlier.

That doesn’t mean if you’re not a morning person you should become one.

But I will say from personal experience the benefits may convert you.

1. Better Energy – Even if you’ve had a poor sleep or want to stay in bed longer, focus on the feeling after completing a workout. I’ve never left the gym saying to myself, “I wish I stayed in bed longer.” It’s always, “I’m glad I went.” It’s a feeling you should chase. The only exception is if you’re sick, injured or got less than 4 hours of sleep. The payoff happens after. As tired as you were forcing yourself to the gym, chances are you won’t hit the wall in the afternoon because working out releases endorphins that last up to 12 hours. Getting that extra hour of sleep won’t equate to more than the energy released post-workout through the day.

2. More Focus – Similar to caffeine, the greatest boost happens immediately after. Identify when you’re the most productive and plan to workout before then. For some this may mean the afternoon or evening, but the problem is you’re working during that time and knowing the boost happens after you waste part of it sleeping. For example I tend to do my best work between 9 AM – 2 PM so I workout around 7 or 8 AM. Before lunch I try to not schedule any meetings or phone calls because I want uninterrupted time to myself. Post lunch I can do more independent work, but meetings can give me an afternoon jolt that extends my efficiency. Experiment what works for you, but if you work out in the morning you have the rest of the day to reap the benefits.

3. Better Health – The more healthy you are, the more productive you are. The reason companies promote wellness programs is because the healthier you are, the less sick days you take. Going to the gym regularly may not reverse genetics, but it creates a good habit of exerting energy towards better health. When you feel good, you tend to produce better work. Intangible benefits such as increased confidence, more stamina and more alertness come natural with being healthy. Pair this with high proteins, green vegetables and less carbs and it’s a powerful outcome. Don’t underestimate the physical influence on work performance. If you’re not feeling well it shows externally in your work.

I won’t be able to convince you all, but I swear by morning workouts to the point when I don’t do some type of physical activity 5 times a week in the morning I actually feel sick. Consider it your coffee replacement. Much cheaper and better for you. Try it and you’ll get hooked on a habit that will change your lifestyle.

Millennials Are Investing Physically

According to this article, Millennials are spending an insane amount to stay in shape.

Traditional gyms and fitness centers aren’t up in membership; instead there is a demand for more community-based, functional and wellness centered classes.

The definition of staying is shape has changed too. Reducing stress, being more productive at work and mental health are the main benefits.

Speciality classes are more expensive than working out by yourself at the gym, but it’s also more engaging, fun and keeps you accountable for progress.

There’s always been a huge push for professional development in your career, but investing in your body may outweigh anything you can learn from a book/online.

Take for instance young moms. Their ability to bounce back to pre-pregnancy form is exceptional. Groups like Stroller Strides, SoulCycle and CrossFit become even more attractive for lifestyle goals.

With more information comes better efficiency. Millennials are realizing taking care of your body early is the best prevention from illness/injury. Being proactive is a mindset that prepares you best for the future and Millennials are embracing it.

Like anything else trends come and go, so this fitness craze can change over time, but for now businesses should be aware of it and adapt to health, wellness and athleisure as a way of life.

The Presidents Cup: Millennials At Their Best

Golf is an individual sport, but annually the best golfers in the world gather to play team competition.

Similar to playing doubles in tennis, team competition brings out the best (or worst) in you.

This year Team USA dismantled the International Team so badly at the Presidents Cup it was over before the last day of competition.

Strategy can be debated, but what was clear is this team dominated by Millennials showed what happens when personal strengths are unleashed.

Chemistry and connection trump competence.

The US team was heavily favored, but in the Ryder Cup (played alternate years from the Presidents Cup vs. Team Europe) the Yankees have struggled in a similar scenario. Talent provides a huge advantage, but without camaraderie you can get beat by lesser foes.

What’s evident in sports and business is Millennials thrive in teams. Whether a professional athlete or young professional, Millennials are better together.

Team USA has struggled for several years in team competition where their individual talent did not match their team unity. The difference this year was the off-the-course friendships were the foundation for victory.

Millennials take a beating from the media (mostly from other generations) and even if some of the criticism is justified, you should choose to focus on the positives.

Veterans can play the mentor role in any setting, but results not style, should be emphasized.

Age shouldn’t be a prerequisite for leadership roles.

This year’s US team led with enthusiasm, togetherness and execution.

In sports or business to maximize Millennials focus on creating a strong, team culture based on accountability then step back and let them go to work.

Why Coaching Trees Don’t Work

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There’s a belief out there that leadership can be taught. Skills yes, but replicating no.

Take for instance two all-time basketball coaching greats: Phil Jackson & Mike Krzyzewski.

Both have disciples trained under them, yet given head coaching duties the success rate isn’t nearly as high. Why is that?

First of all, people can’t be scaled. You can have a mentor, but the goal of the mentee should never be to clone their model. Leadership is grounded in self-awareness so your style needs to be conducive to your personal strengths. You can’t be anything you want. You can only be the best version of you.

Second, there’s an art of leadership that is instinctual. Almost impossible to teach. Both Jackson and eventual Coach K successors have huge shoes to fill. Their replacements will be forever compared to their career success. Unfair as it is, each leader has to create their own legacy. Leaders are less focused on who came before them and more locked into where they want to go. As technology improves so does the sharpening of people skills. In sports the truly great coaches have a sound strategy, but what sets them apart is their ability to manage superstar egos. No book, online resource or manual can teach you that. You learn best through experience and since each individual is unique there’s no formula for optimal results.

Third, confidence in vision. Many would argue charisma, but that comes from a strong belief in self. The confidence in vision needs to be strong enough to take the team to a level even the leader hasn’t reached before. A leader’s vision should be bigger than themselves which further defends the idea of focusing on the future instead of looking back. Vision casting can be taught, but the size of the goal is directly tied to the confidence of the leader. Most successors aim to maintain past standards, but that’s peering in the rear view mirror. Beyond prior records, data and research, leaders must push on regardless of the struggle. That type of perseverance is a character trait developed over time.

Leadership development is real, but not as simple as following a set number of rules. Great coaches create a legacy that can’t be caught. Besides observing and having a deep appreciation for great leaders, it’s about identifying your greatest strengths and leveraging those on a daily basis for maximum results. Coaching trees don’t work because humans are too dynamic to be simplified down to a system. Train up leaders, but give them autonomy to spread their wings in the way they choose. That’s how a tree really blossoms.

 

How To Deal With Uncertainty

uncertainty

As a planner I prefer to be in control.

When I’m not it’s scary.

But when you think about, how much of your life are you really in control of?

You have the power of choice, but you can’t control the outcome. In fact you can drive yourself insane second-guessing what you should have done in retrospect.

The best advice (but probably the most uncomfortable) is to trust the process.

Easier said than done, but if you’ve done your research, taken multiple factors into account, pull the trigger and don’t look back.

Take for instance sports: when you make a play sometimes it works out in your favor and sometimes it doesn’t. If you feel uncertain in the moment, most likely the result won’t be favorable. On the other hand committing to a plan of action and living with the outcome gives you a sense of peace.

As a recovering control-freak myself, I realize the more I try to control the less I actually am.

Pair that with the fact my wife is very spontaneous and carefree and it can drive me to anxiety if I don’t take a step back.

As a coach I tell my clients to focus on creating good habits that are repeatable. Goals are good, but creating routines that lead towards your desired lifestyle are better.

Funny thing is sometimes I need to listen to my own advice.

If you’re unsure about an aspect in your life such as your career or a relationship, look at how you spend your time. Examine your priorities. Understand the way you process.

Uncertainty can be looked at in two ways: negatively or positively.

You can choose to be anxious or excited. The former will drive you crazy while the latter comes with anticipation.

For your mind and body’s sake (and health), choose the high road.

Trust me.

It works.

How The NBA Free Agency Mirrors Corporate America

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Professional athletes are in the prime of their career in their 20’s, but as they reach their 30’s priorities change. It’s no different with Millennials in the workplace except their best career years may be ahead of them.

During the NBA free agency period players without contracts have the opportunity to strike it rich with their current or new team through signing a multi-year deal. Most NBA players want 3 things:

1) To win now

2) Be the “man”

3) Max money

Assuming an athlete has been in the league for a couple of years and excelled, the bidding wars begin. As a fan I found myself making parallels towards Corporate America this summer. Take the 3 wishes of basketball players and they can be translated to young professionals:

1) To make a difference/impact (winning)

2) Be valued as an important contributor (the “man/woman”)

3) Make as much money as possible

What’s interesting is the shift in values over generations.

Millennials care more about lifestyle than paycheck.

Purpose in work is greater than titles.

Promotions only feel “real” when accompanied by personal growth.

This NBA free agency period marked the first time top players chose small markets (San Antonio & Milwaukee) over large ones (Los Angeles & New York). The playing field has been leveled and location no longer is an important criteria. It is if you care about nightlife, housing costs and distance from family, but otherwise it’s an afterthought. It’s a reason why growing startups can steal top talent from established corporations.

I’ve always believed that Millennials are Millennials no matter what they are doing. “Perks” are popular because they show employers care about their wants. Sometimes perks are used as a recruiting and retaining factor. Understanding what Millennials want in their career reveals how they can “fit” in your organization. My point is people are people no matter what they are doing. Generations share certain core values that resonate amongst them. Tap into those values and their pulse reveals what matters. Cater to the heart.