4 Amazing Exercises to Boost Productivity

When you exercise, you spend a part of your time each day to complete the routines. Based on this premise, you’ll spend time doing other activities that should be allotted for your work. That seems counterproductive, right?

 

Wrong. Studies show that when you exercise regularly your mind becomes sharper and your mood significantly improves. The blood flow to your brain increases, thus improving its efficiency. These, in turn, help boost your productivity by at least 20% more. The World Health Organization recommends exercising at least 30 minutes in a day. You may set one 30-minute session or break it down into smaller chunks throughout the course of the day.

Except for breathing exercises, activities should be a bit difficult than what you’re typically used to (breathing exercises focus more on rhythm, so, this is not applicable in this case). Also, your heartbeat should be slightly elevated when doing these activities.

One easy way to know if you’re exercising hard enough is using the “talk and sing test” which includes the following:

• If you can exercise while talking or singing that means the exercise is too easy for you. In this case, you need to speed things up or make the weights heavier.
• If you can exercise while talking but can’t do it while singing that means the exercise intensity is just about right for you.
• If you can neither sing nor talk that means you’re working out too hard. You need to slow down a bit or lift slightly lessen your weight load.

1. Breathing Exercises
This is the foundation for all the other exercises that you will perform. Therefore, you need to master how to do this. This can help boost productivity by encouraging your body to supply more oxygen to your brain. Remember, oxygen is a precious commodity for your brain. Low supplies of oxygen can make you feel sluggish and lethargic, thus decreasing your chances to perform better at work. Examples for breathing exercises may include:

• The 4-7-8 breathing pattern: This is an activity that you can do each time you feel stressed out. Sit on a chair with your back straight. Place your tongue against the upper palate, specifically, where your upper incisors meet your gums. Rest your tongue against that area for the entire activity. Quietly inhale through your nose, count up to four, hold your breath for seven counts, exhale through your mouth for eight counts, and then make a whooshing sound while you’re at it. Do this slowly so as not to constrict your airway. Do this three or four more times.
• Breathing with meditation and/or mindfulness: This is a bit similar to the 4-7-8 breathing activity. The main difference is that this has progressions. For this exercise, you need to sit upright or lie down first. Closing your eyes can help you avoid distractions so you can focus more on the breathing pattern. Perform the 4-7-8 pattern for 15 minutes. When you’ve mastered breathing while sitting or lying down, progress to meditating with your eyes open, then while walking, then while doing your usual chores.

2. Strengthening Exercises (resistance exercises)
These can help bulk up your muscles. It can help improve your productivity levels by increasing the rates of pumping blood around the body. This is especially evident in the calf muscles. Aside from that, this can help correct postural problems and eventually get rid of pain and discomfort due to poor posture. You can do these exercises 3-5 times a week. Start off with 2 sets of 10 repetitions each. These exercises may include:

• Lower back: Bridges are good exercises to begin with.
• Abdomen: Fortunately, crunches are not the only way to go (these are good exercises, though!). Other variations are double leg lifts and planks.
• Hips: Single leg lift exercise is a good start. Progress this by incorporating ankle weights.
• Shoulders: Dumbbells or kettlebells are your friends.

3. Aerobic Exercises
This type of exercise mainly focuses on the cardiovascular system. Thus, it can help promote better blood circulation while improving your tolerance for prolonged physical work. If your work becomes easier for you physically, it helps you accomplish more chores without getting tired easily. You can do these exercises 4-6 times a week. Go for a minimum of 15-20 minutes and progress until you reach one hour. Aerobic exercise may include:

• Walking: No, your usual walking will not normally cut it. If you’re just starting out with this entire exercise thing, you can prolong your walking time. When you get used to that, switch to brisk walking.
• Running: Heck, you can even do continuous training so you can take part in marathons.
• Swimming: If possible, make sure the water is a bit warm when you exercise.
• Dancing: May it be video game dancing or some classic dance classes, get your groove on. Jamming with friends is highly recommended!

4. Flexibility Exercises
Most of the activities under this exercise type aim to improve the range of motion of your muscles and joints. This also helps relieve tension in different muscle groups. As a result, it reduces your stress levels. You can do these exercises 5-6 times a week. Start off with 3 repetitions with a 30-second hold of each muscle group.

• Abdominal stretches: Get in a prone position. Prop your arms up and hold the position for 30 seconds. This is equivalent to one repetition.
• Lower back stretches: While in a long sitting position with your back straight, stretch out your arms in front of you and reach for your toes.
• Shoulder stretches: Sit up straight and place one arm behind you. Using your other hand, tilt your head to the opposite direction until you feel a stretching sensation at the side of your neck.

It’s best to perform these exercises alternatively for two good reasons: First, this can help your major muscle groups take a break while other muscles are worked out for a specific day; and, second, this will prevent boredom. The latter is more important because this will tell if you’ll be in it for the long haul. If all else fails, be accountable to someone else (i.e., trusted friend, gym buddies, close family member) so you’ll adhere to your routines more efficiently.

7 Innovative Ways to Reduce Your Stress

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If you frequently feel stressed out by your commitments and environments, simply continue reading to discover 7 helpful tips on how to reduce your stress levels.

7 innovative ways to reduce stress:

1. Ensure that you’re not taking on too many commitments

If you’re looking to reduce stress at school or work, it may be worthwhile assessing your schedule to see whether you’ve bitten off more than you chew. As an example if you’re a college student who is struggling to balance a part time job with a heavy course load, you may benefit from reducing the amount of hours that you work and applying for scholarships to fund your tuition and living expenses. Whilst if you work a nine to five job and are given too much responsibility, you may want to consider talking to your boss or manager about your workload.

2. Consider hiring a virtual assistant handle some of your tasks

If there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to fulfill all of your day to day tasks you may be interested in seeking virtual assistance from a professional virtual assistant. A virtual assistance can make your life more manageable, by handling simple tasks such as sorting your emails, scheduling your appointments, typing up your college notes, sorting out your bills and making your travel arrangements for you.

Having a virtual assistant handle simple tasks, will free up your schedule, so that you have a chance to relax and socialize with your friends and family. As if you fail to take time out for yourself on a regular basis, you’ll just end up feeling over worked and stressed out.

3. Take time out to exercise on a regular basis

By visiting your local gym, swimming at the beach or taking your dog for a walk, your body will release endorphins which will leave you feeling happier and less stressed out. So if you’re feeling stressed out after a busy day at work or at school, it’s worth lacing up your trainers and heading out for a run. As an added benefit, the fitter you are, the better your body will cope with day to day stress.

4. Don’t be afraid to vent to a trusted confidante

Bottling up your feelings will only leave you feeling more overwhelmed and stressed than you already are. So if you’re struggling with coping with symptoms of stress, consider ringing a family member or a trusted friend, who’ll provide a comforting ear. Who knows, your confidante may have experienced similar feelings and may be able to give you helpful advice on how to handle the stress which you’re experiencing.

5. If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable confiding in, book an appointment with a counselor

Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to be crazy in order to book an appointment with a counselor. In fact, a large percentage of individuals who visit counselors book appointments in order to simply vent their problems and decrease their stress level. If you’re still at college, your college may even offer free or inexpensive on campus counseling as part of your tuition fees.

6. Remember to reward yourself for meeting your goals

Too often when individuals achieve the goals which they have set themselves, they immediately focus on their next set of goals, without taking adequate time to congratulate themselves on a job well done. So next time you reach a goal, ensure to take a break and reward yourself. As an example, you may want to treat yourself to a weekend getaway or enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant.

7. Take a break for social media

Whilst social media was created to add value to our lives, if you find yourself feeling stressed out by maintaining social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you may be in need from a mini break from your online life. After all, your goal should be to live a life that makes you happy, rather than projecting that you’re happy on your social media accounts.

So if you’ve noticed that you’re feeling stressed out on a regular basis, don’t feel too disheartened as by taking small actions, you’ll be able to reduce your stress levels, in no time. As an example, you may be surprised at how much stress you can off load by hiring a virtual assistant or how great you can feel after a run around your neighborhood.