How to Impress People: 11 Simple Things You Don’t Realize You Do That Truly Impress People


How to Impress People: 11 Simple Things You Don't Realize You Do That Truly Impress People

How to Impress People: 11 Simple Things You Don't Realize You Do That Truly Impress People

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like. Will Rogers

Money, a flash car, a big house, and lavish holidays – do these things impress you? How about a high-powered job, expensive clothes, or name-dropping the famous people you’ve “hung out” with?

Nah, chances are these things don’t really impress you, just like they don’t impress anyone else.

HOW TO IMPRESS PEOPLE

So what impresses people? What is it about you or anyone else that will really get people nodding with approval when they meet you? Well, these 11 things for starters.

1. Your Authenticity 

In a strange twist of fate, one of the things that people find most impressive is when someone can fully accept their true self without feeling the need to put on an act. In other words, you impress people by NOT trying to impress them.

It is refreshingly pleasing to encounter someone who couldn’t give two hoots what you think of them, so when you feel comfortable in your own skin, with your own flaws, admiration will follow.

The only caveat being those people who care so little what others think that they are willing to trample all over them – that doesn’t impress anyone!

2. Your Kindness 

Speaking of how you treat other people, radiating kindness in all that you do is a magical gift that is utterly irresistible. When you are gentle and compassionate, when you respect the feelings and opinions of others, you exude a warm glow that acts like a magnetic force, pulling people towards you. It is immediately obvious when you are acting from the heart, and the hearts of those you meet reflect back what you give off.

3. Your Generosity/Selflessness

Sticking with kindness for a second, your caring and giving nature means you are generous with all that you have. Whether it is time, money, possessions, or knowledge, you can often be found sharing yours with those who need it.

These acts come from a mindset of abundance; you don’t hoard what’s yours away in fear of losing it, you give it freely and without expectation of reward or repayment. That’s impressive, no doubt about it.

4. Your Positive Outlook On Life

You have an optimism that is infectious. Yours is the ‘can do’ attitude that gets other people motivated, and you see obstacles as challenges rather than roadblocks.

Even when life throws you a curveball, your cheery disposition is something that warms the spirit. It shows that no matter the circumstances, you can always see the silver lining and you will never berate life for dealing you a bad hand.

5. Your Resilience

That positivity of yours is a key ingredient in another of your most impressive traits: your resilience and determination. You accept that things will go amiss from time to time and that not everything is within your control, but you will always do your very best to find solutions where they exist and deal with the fallout where they don’t.

You don’t run a mile or fall apart at the first sign of trouble; you stand, you face, and you deal.

6. Your Follow Through 

You know full well that words are cheap when not followed by action, so you are one who sticks to what you say. For you, walking the walk is more important than talking the talk, and this approach is very much welcomed by those close to you.

Your follow through makes you reliable, believable, and trustworthy; three qualities of high worth in a person. Yet, despite this, you are not so arrogant or so stubborn as to be unwilling to change course should new evidence come to light.

7. Your Eagerness To Learn

That flexibility mentioned just above comes about, in part, because you are eager to learn and better yourself. You know that perfection is impossible, but you strive towards growth both personally and spiritually.

Instead of resting on your laurels, you look at all the potential you hold and you try to do something with it. If that isn’t something to admire, what is?

8. Your Contentment

You also have this amazing knack of balancing both a desire to grow and evolve, with a sense of pure contentment. You are happy with your lot in life and don’t feel any dissatisfaction arising from the things that may be absent. If the universe conspires in such a way that you gain these things, great, but it’s no big deal to you if they aren’t forthcoming.

You know that all things are transient – they come and they go – so why get worked up about them? No, you have found peace in the knowledge that you are alive and well in the present moment, and this is all that really matters.

9. Your Humility

Unlikeothers who try to impress people, you don’t boast about all the things you have or do; yours is a life of humility. You are reserved when talking about yourself because you feel no need to gain the approval of those around you.

It comes back to your authenticity and acceptance of who you are. When you are that comfortable with yourself, where’s the need to brag about it? It’s just a waste of breath.

10. Your Genuine Interest In Others 

The connections you forge with others are what you really place value on, and this drives you to take a genuine interest in their lives. You don’t stop at mere pleasantries and small talk, you delve deeper and actually get to know someone on a more personal level. You are curious, but not nosy, interested, but not obsessively so.

When people feel that you actually care about their lives, they will truly appreciate you for it. It shows that you see them as a fellow human being, equal in every way that matters, and worthy of your time.

11. Your Integrity 

You can’t stand idly by and watch as someone is attacked verbally or even physically. No matter what they have done, you insist that they are treated with the respect that all living beings deserve. Even when that person is not present, you cannot abide others speaking ill of them. You won’t necessarily defend their actions, but you will, at least, defend their right to be spoken to, rather than spoken about.

You do all this in a calm and conciliatory manner, acting as a peacemaker when necessary. People respect you for this and know that they can trust you to have their backs.

Now, if you were to think about someone in your life who truly impresses you, can you see how they fit this description? These 11 traits are not the be all and end all of a person, but they are things we all look up to at the end of the day.

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Morning Meditation for Clarity and Positive Energy


Morning Meditation for Clarity and Positive Energy

“The more of me I be, the clearer I can see.” ~ Rachel Archelaus

CLARITY AND POSITIVE ENERGY

It’s so important to give ourselves some time in the morning to just be with ourselves and gain some clarity on how we want our day to look like. Because if we rush through things, chances are that things will feel out of control and that we will end up feeling anxious, fearful and stressed out.

If you want to start your day in a healthy and balanced way, use this beautiful morning meditation for clarity to reconnect with the peace, wisdom, and serenitythat is present within. Allow its soft yet powerful words to inspire and empower you to live each day in alignment with your purpose. And decide to start each day off right.

Before you begin, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for the next 20 minutes. Second, find a comfortable position to sit – it can be in a chair, crossed legged or on your knees, or lay down and when you’re ready to press play. Once the meditation session is over, you can share your experience with all of us by commenting below.

Enjoy 🙂

Morning Meditation for Clarity and Positive Energy

I have a question for you. When you wake up in the morning, do you rush through things by going straight to work, or do you have some time for yourself to nourishand give your mind, body, and soul the fuel they need to function properly? You can share your comment in the comment section below 🙂

8 Buddhist habits that will change your life


Some of the happiest people on earth are Buddhist monks. They practice living in a different way than we do, and adopting their habits can have a positive effect on our own happiness.

Buddhism is an extremely mindful practice. They focus on living simply and rule out all materialistic complications. Buddhism has been becoming increasingly popular too. We are seeing more and more people in the eastern society adopting the ways of Buddhist monks because it offers answers and solutions to modern world problems. Buddhism additionally gives us another point of view on who we really are. They think very highly of the human spirit and they appreciate all walks of life.

If you are looking to get away from all the hustle and bustle complications of the modern day world, Buddhist practices may be your out. It makes living simplistic and more meaningful. Simply adopting these habits could change your entire life.

The first habit you should adopt is to simplify. Life is not even nearly as complicated as we make it out to be. All of the problems we have were created by us and they can also be eliminated. Most people’s goal is to acquire as much stuff as they can and be as wealthy as they can, but this does not guarantee happiness. Instead, happiness comes from within, so you have all you need.

Practice Giving

Along with simplifying your life, you need to give too. Giving not only helps another human individual, but it makes us feel good too! Giving things away to help others actually releases dopamine in our brains, making us feel blissful. A selfless attitude is essential to live a Buddhist style life. Being selfless is about much more than giving to other people. If we are all selfless, we wouldn’t have so many problems. Let go of that ego and ask yourself what you can do to benefit society.

Meditate

Meditating is also a key part of Buddhism. Simply sitting down in a quiet place for ten minutes and change your entire day for the better. It’s also scientifically proven to change the brain! All you have to do is sit down, focus on your breathing, and let it all be. Chanting mantras is also a great way to keep your mind on track while meditating.

Respect and Learn from your Elders

Another Buddhist habit that is life changing is listening to people wiser than you. We don’t know it all, and as easy as it is to pretend we do, you’ll actually get a lot more out of listening to others than you think. Listen to learn, not to reply.

Go Throughout Everyday Mindfully

You will additionally want to make mindfulness a key part of your life. Being mindful doesn’t mean you go around enlightening people and meditating all the time. Being mindful is taking the time to further your spiritual growth and knowledge. Being mindful means not judging other people, getting your happiness from a natural source, and growing spiritually.

Embrace Change

Embracing change can also change your life. Change can be scary, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. We are forever evolving and we change all the time. Embracing it will only make it easier for you! There is so much more to focus on in life than holding onto what we used to have.

Use Aromatherapy

Monks practice aromatherapy a good bit too. Aromatherapy using essential oils has massive amounts of benefits. Depending on the specific oil you use, they can treat health issues, promote sleep and relaxation, reduce stress, and promote creativity. It is awesome to breathe in the oil of frankincense while meditating.Live in the Moment

The most important habit that Buddhist monks have that we need to learn is living in the moment. The majority of our anger, frustration, anxiety, and sadness comes from anticipation of the future or dwelling on the past. If you can try hard enough, and it does require practice, you can live in the present only and doing so eliminates massive amounts of stress and negative emotions.

If Your Guy Does These 14 Things, Congrats! You Found a Real Man


Almost every woman dreams of finding the perfect man who has all the qualities she requires him to have. However, it is not that easy to find one person who has everything that you want and need. Still you should not lose hope, instead start by learning the difference between boys and men.

Try to find a man who will speak his mind, has a sense of humor, who is not ashamed to show his love, and dresses and speaks well.

 These are the qualities that a true gentleman should possess:

1.A true gentleman pays attention to his personal hygiene including trimming nose hairs and cleaning his nails.

 2.This man has a strong character, a career and a personal life and is also sophisticated.

3.A gentleman does not wait for too long to call a woman. He calls her to invite her to dinner; he makes the reservations and has a great time.

4.A true gentleman tells a girl whether he is interested or not. In case he is not he always makes sure that she knows he had a great time with her. He appreciates her time and tells her that he is not interested in the relationship becoming more serious.

5.This man reads lots of books and newspapers; he is well informed and has his own opinion about everything. He knows that not everything he reads or hears is a fact so he values the opinion of someone who disagrees with him. He even enjoys engaging in a good debate.

6.The real man is a true gentleman who shows a woman that he cares about her by opening the door for her or taking her coat.

7.He values the woman so if he wants to have a sexual relation he first seduces her instead of forcing her into doing something she does not want to. He is well aware that he should firs conquer other parts of the woman body.

8.Even though he enjoys knowing that a woman likes him he does not want to be chased, instead he prefers to be the one in charge in courting.

9.He loves an independent woman who is financially stable to pay for her own bills and expenses. This type of woman is the one he wants beside him.

10.He a woman who will love him for his character and personality rather than his financial status.

11.This man prefers a woman who shares the same qualities he has such as having a career hobby, family and close friends.

12.He knows who he is, what he wants and what he does not. He appreciates honesty very much and believes that if he can be honest with himself he can be honest with others too.

13.He is very proud of the woman he is with and is not afraid to show it through the way he looks or acts.

14.A gentleman is a man, not a boy. He wants to find the perfect woman for him not a girl. He tries to find the woman who shares the same qualities with him but also has something to teach him. He will not settle for anything, he takes his time searching for the right woman and once he finds her he will fight for her. And when the woman finds the man with the right qualities she should be happy about having someone like that by her side.

Hot Baths Burn Calories, May Help Fight Diabetes


A relaxing soak could be doing more for you than you think.

If you were about to force yourself out on a run, stop where you are for a minute because a bath might be just as effective as exercise when it comes to your health.

Dr. Steve Faulkner, a researcher at Loughborough University, says bathing may have similar benefits to exercising, including helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.

He explained to The Conversation that, though a hot bath has always been relaxing, it’s only recently that science has begun to discover how “passive heating” can improve health.

Dr. Faulkner and his team have investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control and the number of calories burned. The study involved 14 people each enjoying an hour-long soak in a bath run at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as heading out on an hour-long bike ride.

The two tests were designed to raise core body temperature by just 1 degree so the team could measure how many calories were burned in each session.

Though biking did burn more calories, they found that a hot bath used up as many calories as a 30-minute walk.

“The overall blood sugar response to both conditions was similar, but peak blood sugar after eating was about 10% lower when participants took a hot bath compared with when they exercised,” Dr. Faulkner reports.

He also explained that the anti-inflammatory properties of exercise are important for our immune systems and help us fight diseases: “This suggests that repeated passive heating may contribute to reducing chronic inflammation, which is often present with long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.”

So, take off those sneakers — in fact, take off everything and head upstairs.

Source:http://www.cosmopolitan.com

Transform Your Body in Just 4 Weeks With These Five Simple Exercises


People are more aware of their health than ever. It’s good to know that people care about their own bodies, and of course, the way they look.

 Some decide to go for pricey gym memberships, “miracle” supplements, and fancy equipment. Others go for the easy way – exercising and healthy diet. Guess who is doing it better.

Eating healthy and being physically active make you happy. There’s nothing better than healthy habits.

We give you 5 simple exercises, and this go along with your diet. You’ll notice major improvement within a month. You won’t lose weight like crazy, but you will sure get closer to the body of your dreams.

  1. Plank

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It’s one of the most effective, and yet most underrated exercises ever. This static exercise will give you those ripped abs, and tough shoulders. Take a push-up position on the ground, and bend your elbows at 90 degrees.

Set your body in a straight line, and support it with your elbows, forefeet, and forearms. Hold in this position as much as you can, and make sure you don’t move your butt and waist at all.

  1. Push ups

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These will push up your body, as they involve every muscle in your body. Set your body in a plank position, and push your body up using your hands. Set your back, butt, and legs in a straight line. Do several repetitions.

  1. Squats

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These will strengthen your core, stimulate a healthy fat burning process, and build strong quads, calves, and hams.

Set your body in the initial squat position. Stretch your arms forward, and start off. Do it slowly. Make sure your face is faced forward, and your spine straight. Get as lower as you can. Your hips should be in a parallel line to the ground, but don’t force yourself if you’re unable to do this.

  1. Bird-dog

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Set your body in a plank position, and support your body on your hands and knees. Stretch one leg and one arm, on the opposite side, of course. Your body should be balanced and straight. Hold in this position for a few seconds. Switch arm/leg. The bird-dog exercise strengthens your lower back and abs.

  1. Lying hip raises

transform-body-month-5-simple-exercises5

These will strengthen your hamstrings and glute muscles, thighs, back and abs. lie flat on the ground, bend your knees, and set your feet on the floor. Stretch your arms towards the outside at a 45 degree angle.  “Squeeze” your glute muscles, and raise your hips. Do several repetitions.

Try this 4-week exercise plan:

It’s an amazing plan consisted of 2 different basic workouts:

1st Workout

  • Plank – 1 minute;
  • Push-ups – 1 minute;
  • Squats – 2 minutes;
  • Bird-dog – 1 minute;
  • Lying hip raises – 1 minute;
  • Plank – 1 minute;
  • Push-ups – 1 minute;
  • Squats – 2 minutes

Make 10-second breaks in between.

2nd Workout

  • Plank – 3 minutes;
  • Bird-dog – 3 minutes;
  • Lying hip raises – 3 minutes;
  • Push-ups – 1 minute

Make 15-second breaks in between.

As you may notice, you should have a rest day after the 6-day workout plan.

1st Week

  • 1stDay – 1st Workout
  • 2ndDay – 2nd Workout
  • 3rdDay – 1st Workout
  • 4thDay – 2nd Workout
  • 5thDay – 1st Workout
  • 6thDay – 2nd Workout
  • 7thDay – rest

2nd Week

  • 1stDay – 2nd Workout
  • 2ndDay – 1st Workout
  • 3rdDay – 2nd Workout
  • 4thDay – 1st Workout
  • 5thDay – 2nd Workout
  • 6thDay – 1st Workout
  • 7thDay – rest

After you finish your second week, start it all over again.

This program will give you a strong and tight body, and you’ll be healthier than ever. Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Doing this program will not only make your body stronger and tighter, but it will also improve your health and energy levels. You have nothing to lose trying this program, so you might start it even today.

Source:healthyfoodhouse.com

Why So Many People Hate Scented Products


It seems like the world is awash in scents of all kinds, from simple perfumes to scented candles, laundry products and personal hygiene items. Even many hotel rooms and taxis are beginning to come with a “signature” scent — all to the detriment of people with allergies or who simply don’t like the scents. According to Time Health, the problem is so severe that many people suffer migraines and breathing problems from this new scent-laced world.

One key problem with this is that manufacturers of these products are not required to disclose the ingredients, and are self-regulated through the International Fragrance Association (IFA). Manufacturers develop their fragrances by mixing a chemical cocktail to produce a scent, without regulation for the long-term consequences of exposure to those chemicals.

A study published in 2011 found over 25 different air pollutants, including those known to cause cancer, such as benzene and acetaldehyde, in the chemicals released by dryer sheets and fabric softeners. From chloroform to benzyl acetate to ethanol and more, several known carcinogenic compounds were found to be wafting from common household cleaning products.

In Europe, more than 1,300 chemicals are banned from use in lotions, soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics and other personal care products. Contrast that to in the U.S., where just 11 are banned — which means that if you live in the U.S. you’re on your own for protecting yourself from the onslaught. You can do this by “going green” all the way and refusing to purchase scented products, and switching over to organic brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics.

The Scientific 7-Minute Workout


Exercise is a key factor of optimal health; it’s particularly important for controlling your blood sugar and normalizing your insulin levels. I often recommend viewing exercise as a drug that needs to be properly prescribed and “taken” at a proper dosage.

Story at-a-glance

  • Exercise is a key factor of optimal health; it’s particularly important for controlling your blood sugar and normalizing your insulin levels. When done correctly, exercise can oftentimes act as a substitute for some of the most common drugs used today for things like diabetes, heart disease and depression
  • Compelling and ever-mounting research shows that the ideal form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise
  • Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, Peak Fitness exercises also provide health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone”
  • A recent article by the Human Performance Institute shows how you can fulfill the requirements for a high intensity exercise using nothing more than your own body weight, a chair, and a wall

When done correctly, exercise can oftentimes act as a substitute for some of the most common drugs used today for things like diabetes, heart disease and depression.

All of these conditions will improve with exercise and the help of an experienced natural health care clinician. High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a core component of my Peak Fitness program, is key for reaping optimal results from exercise.

There are many versions of HIIT, but the core premise involves maximum exertion followed by a quick rest period for a set of intervals.

My Peak Fitness routine uses a set of eight 30-second sprints, each followed by 90 seconds of recovery, as taught by Phil Campbell who is a pioneer in this field. Also, while I typically recommend using an elliptical machine or recumbent bike, you can just as easily perform a high intensity routine without any equipment at all.

The Scientific 7-Minute Workout

A recent article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal1 shows how you can fulfill the requirements for a high intensity exercise using nothing more than your own body weight, a chair, and a wall.

Best of all, this science-backed routine only requires a seven minute investment, as the program calls for as little as 10- to 15-seconds of rest between each 30-second exercise, which should be performed in rapid succession.

As reported by the New York Times2:

“’There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,’ says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla., and co-author of the new article.”

The health benefits of high intensity interval training are well-established at this point, and include:

Significantly improving your insulin sensitivity, especially if you’re on a low-processed food, low-sugar/low-grain diet Optimizing your cholesterol ratios, when combined with a proper diet Boosting fat metabolism and optimizing your body fat percentage (as a result of improved conservation of sugar and glycogen in your muscles)
Virtually eliminating type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure Naturally boosting your levels of human growth hormone (HGH) Increasing your aerobic capacity

One of the added boons of this 7-minute program is that since you don’t need any equipment, you can easily take this routine with you when traveling. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel room that doesn’t at least have a chair in it. When done at the appropriate intensity, which should hover around 8 on a scale of 1-10, the following 12 exercises, which are outlined in the report, equate to doing a long run and a weight-training session.

The exercises are ideally done in the following order, as this allows for opposing muscle groups to alternate between resting and working in each subsequent exercise.

Contraindications

I believe most people can perform high intensity exercises, provided you listen to your body and work out according to your current level of fitness and ability. I personally modified the Peak 8 to a Peak 6 this year as it was sometimes just too strenuous for me to do all eight repetitions. So by listening to my body and cutting it back to six reps, I can now easily tolerate the workout and go all out. That said, the authors stress that there are some contraindications for their program:

“Because of the elevated demand for exercise intensity in high intensity circuit training protocols, caution should be taken when prescribing this protocol to individuals who are overweight/obese, detrained, previously injured, or elderly or for individuals with comorbidities.

For individuals with hypertension or heart disease, the isometric exercises (wall sit, plank, and side plank) are not recommended. The isometric exercises can be substituted with dynamic exercises.

For all individuals, the Valsalva maneuver should be avoided, particularly for the isometric exercises. Proper execution requires a willing and able participant who can handle a great degree of discomfort for a relatively short duration. It is also essential that participants in an HICT understand proper exercise form and technique. As with all exercise programs, prior medical clearance from a physician is recommended.”

I firmly believe that most people would benefit from high intensity exercises but the key is to start very slowly if you have any of the risk factors listed above. You might actually require several months to work up to a high intensity level. But as long as you start at a safe level and continue to push yourself to progressively higher levels, you will eventually reach a level of intensity that will provide the benefits.

Remember, while your body needs regular amounts of stress like exercise to stay healthy, if you give it more than you can handle your health can actually deteriorate. So it’s crucial to listen to your body and integrate the feedback into your exercise intensity and frequency. When you work out, it is wise to really push as hard as you possibly can a few times a week, but you do need to wisely gauge your body’s tolerance to this stress.

Why High Intensity Interval Training May Be Ideal for Most

Contrary to popular belief, extended extreme cardio, such as marathon running, actually sets in motion inflammatory mechanisms that damage your heart. So while your heart is indeed designed to work very hard, and will be strengthened from doing so, it’s only designed to do so intermittently, and for short periods—not for an hour or more at a time. This is the natural body mechanics you tap into when you perform HIIT.

Repeatedly and consistently overwhelming your heart by long distance marathon running, for example, can actually prematurely age your heart and make you more vulnerable to irregular heart rhythm. This is why you sometimes hear of seasoned endurance athletes dropping dead from cardiac arrest during a race. I ran long distance for over four decades. So please learn from my experience and don’t make the same mistake I did.

Compelling and ever-mounting research shows that the ideal form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise. Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.”

What Makes HIIT so Effective?

Your body has three types of muscle fibers: slow, fast, and super-fast twitch muscles. Slow twitch muscles are the red muscles, which are activated by traditional strength training and cardio exercises. The latter two (fast and super-fast) are white muscle fibers, and these are only activated during high intensity interval exercises or sprints. The benefit of activating these fibers is that they will produce therapeutic levels of growth hormone, which many athletes spend over a $1,000 a month to inject themselves with. So there is no need to pay the money or take the risks when your body can produce growth hormone naturally through high intensity exercises.

Getting cardiovascular benefits requires working all three types of muscle fibers and their associated energy systems — and this cannot be done with traditional cardio, which only activates your red, slow twitch muscles. If your fitness routine doesn’t work your white muscle, you aren’t really working your heart in the most beneficial way. The reason for this is because your heart has two different metabolic processes:

  • The aerobic, which requires oxygen for fuel, and
  • The anaerobic, which does not require any oxygen

Traditional strength training and cardio exercises work primarily the aerobic process, while high intensity interval exercises work both your aerobic AND your anaerobic processes, which is what you need for optimal cardiovascular benefit. This is why you may not see the results you desire even when you’re spending an hour on the treadmill several times a week. So when it comes to high intensity exercises, less really is more...

For Optimal Health, Add Variety to Your Exercise Program

In addition to doing HIIT a couple of times a week, it’s wise to alternate a wide variety of exercises in order to truly optimize your health and avoid hitting a plateau. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body. I recommend incorporating the following types of exercise into your program on days when you’re not doing high intensity anaerobic training:

    • Strength Training: If you want, you can increase the intensity by slowing it down. You need enough repetitions to exhaust your muscles. The weight should be heavy enough that this can be done in fewer than 12 repetitions, yet light enough to do a minimum of four repetitions. It is also important NOT to exercise the same muscle groups every day. They need at least two days of rest to recover, repair and rebuild.

For more information about using super slow weight training as a form of high-intensity interval exercise, please see my interview with Dr. Doug McGuff.

    • Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability.

Exercise programs like Pilates, yoga, and Foundation Training are great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.

  • Stretching: My favorite type of stretching is Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) developed by Aaron Mattes. With AIS, you hold each stretch for only two seconds, which works with your body’s natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. This technique also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for daily activity. You can also use devices like the Power Plate to help you stretch.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/ECxYJcnvyMw

Intermittent Movement Benefits Your Health. Here’s How to Get More of It into Your Work Day


Over 50 percent of American men, and 60 percent of American women, never engage in any vigorous physical activity lasting more than 10 minutes per week.1 This despite a growing body of research clearly showing that “exercise deficiency” threatens your overall health and mental well-being, and shortens your lifespan.

Intermittent Movement

Story at-a-glance

  • Even if you are a fit athlete who exercises regularly, you may still endanger your health simply by sitting too much
  • Researchers warn that the combination of sitting too much and exercising too little can more than double the risk of heart failure in men. These risk correlations held true no matter how much they exercised
  • The act of standing up from a seated position has been found particularly effective at counteracting the detrimental health effects of sitting
  • Based on double-blind research, the minimum number of times you need to interrupt your sitting in order to counteract its cardiovascular health risks is around 35 times per day
  • There are plenty of ways to get movement in during your work hours. Included are tips from several sources, including video demonstrations of a sample at-work exercises you can do every 15 minutes or so.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/KDhXJGZJJd4

That said, even if you fall into the other half of the population that exercises or are even a highly competitive and fit athlete, you may still endanger your health simply by sitting too much.

For example, one 2012 analysis2 that looked at the findings from 18 studies found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least.

Worse yet, it appears that temporary vigorous exercise can’t even compensate for the damage incurred by prolonged daily sitting!

In fact, it’s becoming increasingly clear that staying active—and by that I mean engaging in virtually any physical movement—as much as possible, throughout the day, is critical for health and longevity. It even appears to be more important, in the big scheme of things, than a regularly scheduled fitness routine…

Sitting Down Too Much Raises Your Risk of Heart Failure

Besides increasing your risk of metabolic problems, researchers warn that the combination of sitting too much and exercising too little can more than double the risk of heart failure in men.3, 4 As reported by USA Today:5

“The risk of heart failure was more than double for men who sat for at least five hours a day outside of work and didn’t exercise very much compared with men who were physically active and sat for less than two hours a day… The risk was lowest for men who exercised the most and sat for fewer than two hours a day…

Government statistics show almost half of people report sitting more than six hours a day, and 65 percent say they spend more than two hours a day watching TV. ‘If you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting too long,’ says James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University.”

This study6 also confirms the alarming findings of earlier ones, which is that a regular fitness routine does NOT counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. The study—which followed more than 82,000 men for 10 years—found that these risk correlations held true no matter how much they exercised!

Last summer, I interviewed Dr. Joan Vernikos,7 former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, about the hazards of chronic sitting, and how to avoid succumbing to its ill effects. Her research has revealed there’s a simple answer.

The key is to make sure you move your body frequently throughout the day. The act of standing up from a seated position has been found particularly effective at counteracting the detrimental health effects of sitting.

I firmly believe that a reasonable goal is to get up four times every hour or every 15 minutes while you are sitting. Once you are engaged in a project, it is really difficult to remember to do this so an alarm might be helpful.

I personally use XNote timer that can be downloaded for free. Once you download the program you can go to the “More” section at the bottom of the program and click “Always On Top” so the application doesn’t get buried on your computer.

You should then click on “Timer” and set it to 15 minutes. You may then click “Start” and when the timer goes off there will not be an alarm sounded, but a flash will appear on your screen to remind you to stand up and perform the exercises.

Like everything in life it is a matter of making choices. I spend 8-12 hours a day in front of a computer . There are certainly times when I am in the flow and choose not to stand up but for the most part that is a rare occasion.

I welcome the interruption and delight in the fact knowing that I am giving my body a break from the abuse of constant sitting and I love it when I move and feel my joints crack and get more flexibility as I know this habit of providing motion to my body will let me function pain free for decades to come.

At-Work ‘Workouts’ — A Practical Health Intervention

The easiest and simplest strategy is to merely stand up, and then sit back down. But the evidence suggests you’d be wise to go a little further—especially if you only exercise a few times a week, or not at all. There are plenty of ways to get movement in during your work hours. The following videos, featuring Jill Rodriguez, offer a series of helpful intermittent movement beginner exercises you can do right at your desk. For a demonstration of each technique, please see the corresponding video in the table below. I suggest taking a break to do one set of three exercises, anywhere from once every 15 minutes, to once per hour.

Technique #1: Standing Neck-Stretch: Hold for 20 seconds on each side.

Technique #2: Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Round your shoulders, then pull them back and pull down. Repeat for 20-30 seconds.

Technique #3: Standing Hip Stretch: Holding on to your desk, cross your left leg over your right thigh and “sit down” by bending your right leg. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #4: The Windmill: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then pivot your feet to the right. Push your hip out to the left. Raising your left arm skyward, and your right arm toward the floor, lower your body toward the floor while looking up, then raise your torso back to standing position. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #5: Side Lunge: Starting with your feet together, take a medium step sideways, and bend down as if you’re about to sit. Use your arms for balance by reaching out in front of you. Return to starting position, and repeat 10-20 times. Repeat on the other side.

Technique #6: Desk Push-Up: Place hand a little wider than shoulder-width apart on your desk. Come up on your toes to make it easier to tip forward. Do 10 repetitions.

Technique #7: Squat to Chair: With your feet shoulder-width apart, sit down, reaching forward with your hands, and stand back up in quick succession. Do 15-20 repetitions.

Technique #8: Single Leg Dead Lift: Place your right hand on your desk, and place your weight on your right leg. Fold your torso forward, while simultaneously lifting your left leg backward. Do 10 repetitions on each side.

Technique #9: Mountain Climber: Get into a push-up position on the floor. Pull your right knee forward to touch your right wrist or arm, then return to push-up position. Repeat on the other side. Try to pick up the pace, and do 20 quick repetitions.

Standing Neck Stretch

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

Standing/Seated Hip Stretch

Windmill

Side Lunge

Push up

Squat to Chair

Single Leg Dead Lift

Mountain Climber

Advanced Intermittent Movement Routine

The video below from Dr. Eric Goodman is just over 4 minutes, but you can break it up into 30-60 second sections and perform it on one of your breaks.

Below are some more advanced suggestions from fitness expert Lisa Huck. These movements are the ones I’m currently working with to interrupt my sitting. I suggest bookmarking this article so you can easily find all of these helpful videos, demonstrating each movement. Again, ideally you’ll want to do at least one of these exercises every 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can combine two or three in a three-minute break once or twice every hour.The more frequently you get out of your seat, the better, because the frequency is the most important aspect. Based on double-blind research conducted by Dr. Vernikos, the minimum number of times you need to interrupt your sitting in order to counteract its cardiovascular health risks is in the neighborhood of 35 times per day.

Her research clearly shows that sitting down and standing up repeatedly for 35 minutes does NOT have the same effect as standing up once, 35 times over the course of the entire day. In order to be effective, the activity needs to be spread out. This helps explain why vigorously exercising a few times a week still isn’t enough to counteract the ill effects of daily prolonged sitting.

#1: Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

#2: Standing Calf Stretch

#3: Standing Inner Thigh Stretch

#4: Standing Back/Buttocks Stretch

#5: Kneeling Lunge Matrix

#6: Hip Flexor, Hamstring, and Quad Stretch

#7: Side Line Twisting Back Stretch

#8: Chest Stretch

#9: Back Butt Stretch

#10: Pole Stretch for the Back

Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

Standing Calf Stretch

Standing Inner Thigh Stretch

Standing Back/Buttocks Stretch

Kneeling Lunge Matrix

Hip Flexor, Hamstring, and Quad Stretch

Side Line Twisting Back Stretch

Chest Stretch

Back Butt Stretch

Pole Stretch for the Back

Additional Suggestions

For even more suggestions, check out the following articles. The videos in the table below, featuring Michael Volkin, can also be used as a guide:

  • Huffington Post: “10 Easy At-Work Workouts”.8 This HP article has many excellent suggestions for movements you can do just about anywhere, anytime, even while still sitting. For example, you can perform leg extensions while remaining seated. Or, keeping your back erect, lift your knees above the chair, squeezing your abdominal muscles, and hold for as long as you can.
  • Washington Post: “A Workout At Work?”9 12 Movements suggested by experts in body mechanics include marching triceps kicks, standing hamstring curls, knee lifts, desk pushups, side lunges, and more. This article includes animated graphics demonstrating each easy move.
  • Greatist.com: “33 Ways To Exercise At Work”.10 This list of “deskercises” is chockfull of great ideas. From wall sitting while reading, and calf-raises while standing at the printer, to discreet isometric glutes exercises like the buttock-squeeze that can be done anytime, you’re bound to find several to fit into your daily work routine.
  • The Atlantic: “Workouts To Do At Work” (video).11 In an effort to bring some measure of “cool factor” to at-work workouts, Atlantic editor James Hamblin offers up an array of suggestions in this humor-filled video. As he says, while stationary jogging may raise some eyebrows, taking the stairs is always an option.
Speed Jacks

Squats

Squat Jumps

Supermans

Lunges

Clock Lunges

Scissor Squats

Twisting Squats

Twisting Lunges

One Leg Triple Jumps

Chair Poses

Single Leg Squats

What Is It About Sitting That Makes It So Harmful?

Space medicine has done a lot to help us understand why sitting is so detrimental. Dr. Vernikos was in fact one of the primary doctors assigned to keep NASA astronauts from deteriorating in space. In a previous interview, she explains that the human body deteriorates at a faster speed in anti-gravity situations, and, as it turns out, sitting for an extended period of time actually simulates a low-gravity type environment!

Physical movements such as standing up or bending down, on the other hand, increase the force of gravity on your body. Again, anti-gravity environments speed up cellular deterioration, so the key is to disengage from this low anti-gravity situation as much as possible by standing up and moving about.

The problem is that our modern society and our reliance on technology has reduced or eliminated many of these opportunities for low-intensity intermittent movement and replaced it with chronic sitting, typically staring in one direction. Some people have even taken to texting other family members inside the same house instead of getting up and walking into the next room. All of this sloth-like inactivity adds up and can take years off your life by speeding up cellular deterioration.

Another Key: When You Do Sit, Use Proper Sitting Form

Other factors come into play as well of course, such as poor posture, which can affect the function of your internal organs, and the lack of blood circulation that results from lack of movement and poor sitting form. I’m convinced that, in addition to getting out of your chair frequently enough, maintaining proper posture while sitting can also make a significant difference. As posture expert Esther Gokhale, creator of the Gokhale Method, explains:

“In our stack sitting method (which is really healthy sitting, primal sitting, if you will), you have your behind out behind, but not exaggeratedly. That’s very important. Then your bones stack well and the muscles alongside your spine are able to relax… Now when you breathe, your whole spine lengthens and settles, lengthens and settles. There’s this movement which stimulates circulation and allows natural healing to be going on as you sit.

If you sit poorly, whether relaxed and slumped or upright and tense, you’ve lost all of that. So do we want to blame [all the adverse health effects] on sitting, or do we want to blame it on the poor sitting form? That’s my question.”

To learn more about proper posture, and how to sit properly, please see my interview with Esther (Gokhale Method hyperlinked above), in which you’ll also find video demonstrations of healthy stack sitting techniques. Using proper posture while seated, combined with frequent interruptions where you stand up and, ideally, perform some of the intermittent movement exercises suggested above, can go a long way toward counteracting the ill effects associated with sitting.

What Are Your Recommendations?

If this is a topic that interests you half as much as it does me, I would encourage you to bookmark this page and play with the concept. I’ve only been experimenting with this approach for about half a year and am in constant revision mode.

There are loads of exercises that one can do in one to two minutes that would serve to interrupt the sitting that causes damage. So if you find one you really like, please create a video of it; upload the video to YouTube, and then post your link in the comments below. We will review all the entries and add exercises to the videos above that we feel would serve to help you avoid the damage caused by chronic sitting.

Why Pullups Should Be Part of Your Weekly Exercise


benefits of pullups

Story at-a-glance

  • Pullups are an excellent exercise for strengthening your back, shoulders, chest and arms, improving posture and building grip strength
  • Pullups help build your core strength and are an ideal form of functional movement, which can help reduce your risk of injuries and falls while helping you to maintain independence as you get older
  • If you’re a beginner, try doing pullups using a chair or superband for assistance; for more challenge, add a weighted belt

Pullups are one of the most straightforward exercises — pull your body up to a bar and then lower yourself back down. If you’ve ever tried to do one, however, you know that their straightforwardness is exceeded by their intensity. It takes strength, both physical and mental, to perform pullups.

Some have even called them the “toughest exercise ever.” Although they’re tough, and may still evoke a feeling of dread if you were among those forced to do them in gym class, there’s good reason to include pullups in your weekly exercise routine. Your hard work will reap bountiful rewards.

Benefits of Pullups

Pullups are infamous for building and strengthening your upper body, but this is only one of their claims to fame.

Jacque Crockford, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist noted, “Because performing the pullup involves moving the entirety of your own bodyweight up against gravity, it takes incredible upper-body strength and trunk stability.”1

Your back muscles are also involved, and pullups are an excellent tool for strengthening and elongating those muscles. If you do pullups regularly, you may find that your posture begins to improve.

As a multi-joint, dynamic and compound movement, pullups work many muscles all at once. This includes the muscles of your back, shoulders, chest and arms, including:2

Middle and lower trapezius Rhomboids Pectoralis major and minor
Deltoids Infraspinatus Latissimus
Dorsi Teres major Subscapularis
Biceps brachii Brachialis Brachioradialis
Flexor carpi radialis Flexor carpi ulnaris Palmaris longus
Flexor digitorum profundus Flexor digitorum superficialis Flexor pollicis longus
External oblique Erector spinae

In addition, the pullup is an exercise that builds the muscle mass of your latissimus dorsi, which is the broad back muscle that runs from the back of your shoulder to your lower back (the primary muscle responsible for that coveted V-shaped look).

Pullups are a classic bodyweight exercise, which means your own body provides the resistance. Such exercises are ideal because they don’t require excessive equipment (although a pullup bar is necessary for pullups) and can be customized to your current skill and fitness level.

Meanwhile, pullups will help build your core strength and are an ideal form of functional movement, which can help reduce your risk of injuries and falls while helping you to maintain independence as you get older. In addition, pullups build grip strength because your fingers, hands and forearms are all used.

Are Pullups Harder for Women and Tall People?

There is some debate over whether certain uncontrollable factors, like your sex or height, influence your ability to do a pullup.

In one study by researchers from the University of Dayton, women were trained for three months to specifically strengthen their biceps and latissimus dorsi, which should theoretically help them successfully do pullups.

The women increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent during the course of the study while lowering their body fat by 2 percent (which should also make pullups more feasible). Still, when tested, only 4 of the 17 women could perform a single pullup.3

The researchers suggested there’s more to performing pullups than simple upper-body strength. “Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature,” The New York Times reported.4

Men may have an easier time performing pullups than women because they tend to have lower body fat percentages and higher muscle mass.

Some men, particularly those who are tall and have longer arms, may also struggle with this exercise, Paul Vanderburgh, a professor of exercise physiology and associate provost at the University of Dayton, told the Times.

“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move … Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pullup,” he said.5

That being said, both women and men of all shapes and sizes can absolutely do pullups, but it will take time to build up the strength and technique to do so. This isn’t a bad thing, as you’ll benefit immensely during the learning curve as well.

Proper Pullup Form

Total Video Length: 18:37

Before attempting pullups, be sure you’re aware of the proper form, as demonstrated in the video above.

  • Place your hands on the pullup bar, palms facing forward, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs slightly bent and your knees together.
  • Focus on your latissimus dorsi, your back muscle, and feel the contraction as you’re pulling yourself upward. It’s not necessary to get your chin over the bar.
  • As you pull up, open up your posture by pushing your stomach forward and keeping your sternum high. (Visualizing pulling your elbows down through the floor can help you feel your back muscles more.)

Pull up to a slow count of three, pause while squeezing your back muscles, then come down to a slow count of three.

  • Between reps, let yourself hang while looking down and relaxing, to allow the latissimus dorsi to pull away from your scapula.
  • Make sure all your movements are slow and controlled.

Pullups From Beginner to Advanced

If you’ve never done a pullup before, you’ll need to gradually work your way up to completing this challenging exercise. Below are examples of techniques you can use to do so whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced.6

Beginner Pullups

  • Assisted Pullup Machine: This machine works via counterbalance weights that assist your pullups. The higher you set the weight, the easier the pullup will be.
  • Band Pullup: A superband is basically a giant rubber band that you wrap around the pullup bar with the other end under your knee or foot. The band gives you a boost that makes the pullup easier and allows you to gradually build up your strength.
  • Chair Pullup: Place your pullup bar 3 to 4 feet off the ground. While sitting in a chair, grab the bar, then straighten your back and hips while keeping your knees slightly bent with feet on the floor. Then pull yourself up so that your chest touches the bar.

Intermediate Pullups

  • Jump Pullups: This move involves holding on to the pullup bar and then getting a jump start. The jump propels you upward, which allows you to harness the momentum to assist in completing the pullup.
  • Vary Grip Positions: Traditional pullups involve a palm forward-facing grip. To vary your grip position, you can either turn your palms facing toward you (this variation is typically called a chin-up) or move your hands closer together or farther apart on the bar.

You can also try stopping your pullup midway through the move instead of pulling all the way up. All of these variations induce muscle confusion, which helps to build muscle and burn fat.

Advanced Pullups

  • Traditional Pullup: This is the pullup demonstrated above.
  • Weighted Pullup: If you need more of a challenge, add a weight belt or hold a weight between your knees while you do your pullups.
  • Rotating Handles: You can kick the intensity up a notch further by trading your pullup bar for a set of rotating handles. Research suggests that using rotating handles during pullups results in the greatest activation of the latissimus dorsi, even more so than varying grip widths.7

No Pullup Bar? Try These Three Pullup Alternatives

If there were a downside to pullups, it would be that they require some way to pull yourself up. While you can find pullup bars at gyms or purchase one for your home (including door-mounted options), not everyone has access to a pullup bar when they need it.

You can still target many of the same muscles using items you probably already have at home, like a chair, towel and door. Even if you have access to a pullup bar, you may want to mix up your workouts by alternating in these challenging pullup alternatives:8

  1. Table Bodyweight Row: Using a sturdy table and chair, grab the edge of the table with an underhanded grip, while placing your feet on a chair placed about four feet away (you will be in a horizontal position facing upward toward the table). Pull up with your arms as though you’re trying to touch your chest to the bottom of the table.
  2. Door Pullins: With the door open, wrap a towel around the inner and outer doorknobs so you have the loose ends of the towel to hold. Position your feet on either side of the door, lower yourself away from the door using your upper body strength and then slowly pull yourself back up to starting position. You can also try this with just one arm at a time (hold both ends of the towel with one hand).
  3. Biceps Plank: Get into a plank position, but turn your hands to point toward your feet. Shift your body forward until your hands are under your hips. Keep your body straight and you’ll feel this exercise in your biceps.