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5 Tips for Workplace Wellness

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You are surrounded by a long line of hazards at work. You may not think about it (especially if you work in a quiet office). Everything from that nasty vending machine spitting out old candy bars that only mask your hunger, to the increasingly painful chair that you sit on day in and day out, can cause serious health problems. There has to be some plan of attack, right? Here are 5 ways to stay healthy to improve your workplace wellness.

1. Start Your Day Right

Having a healthy breakfast isn’t the only thing you can do to start things off on good footing. You can also get a little exercise in. Even a simple walk around the block can increase blood flow and make you much healthier if you get into the routine.

2. Input is everything!

If you want to feel good, you need to bring good food. Even simple snacks can help out a lot. Nuts, apples, and other fruit can really give you the energy you need to make it through the day. If your stomach is growling for the majority of the day, you will likely crash before the end. Make sure you have the right stuff going into your body and it will pay off.

Also making and taking good wholesome meals is as vital as anything else. Sure, many of your coworkers are going out to eat every day, but that is not what your body really needs. Opt for healthier homemade lunches and you will actually feel better while saving money. You can also start bringing in healthier treats for your coworkers to try to improve workplace wellness as a whole.

3. Exercise

How can you exercise at work? There are hundreds of exercises you can do at your desk! Everything from simple stretches to replacing your chair with a Swiss ball for working your core. Whatever you choose to do, change things up and get your body moving as much as possible. By the end of the day when most of your coworkers are crying about sore backs and tired limbs, you will be ready to run a marathon!

4. Hydrate

You’d be shocked to know how much staying hydrated can improve your workplace wellness. There is nothing more important than drinking enough water throughout the day. It doesn’t matter whether it is summer or winter. Your body is made up mostly of water and you need to continually replenish it. Don’t wait till you are thirsty to start drinking. It is much better to have a set amount that you plan on drinking throughout the day.

5. Cut Down on Sweets

Just because everyone is downing that cake or those cookies at work, doesn’t mean that you need to. You won’t offend anyone by declining sweets if you explain that you are trying to eat healthier. Not only will people understand this, they will respect you for it.

Make sure you take these tips to heart in order to keep your body happy and healthy throughout the workday. You will be grateful when you still have energy after retirement!

How to Sleep Better in 6 Simple Steps

Whether you are dealing with a newborn baby or crazy partying neighbors, you know that sleep is precious—and you may not be getting enough of it.

To truly reap the benefits of sleep, most people need 8 hours each night (even more for young children and teenagers). If you are waking up at 3am wondering how you are going to make it through the next day, then these 6 “hacks” are for you.

1. Start your night with a book

This is a great way to get to sleep fast and sleep better. Some people really struggle with the anxiety of life and end up laying there with their eyes wide open for hours. By getting a good reading book for bed time, you will find that you are able to unwind and let go of some of that anxiety. This is much better than thinking about all that you have to do the next day and wonder how you’re ever going to get to sleep. And before you know it, you’ll be nodding off after reading just a few pages.

2. Cut out those midnight snacks

Sure, you may feel a little tired after dinner, but in the end, those midnight munching sessions you have will end up turning your brain back on. By creating a habit of eating at night, you are telling your brain to wake up and get moving. So if you’re hit with a bout of insomnia (or you just happen to get woken up in the middle of the night) don’t go straight for the refrigerator if you’re trying to sleep better.

3. Cut the Lights

Light can stimulate your brain just as much as food can, so if you want to sleep better start your night off right by completely cutting the lights. If your window is bringing in the lights from the neighbors, it’s worth investing in some good blinds or just sticking a blanket over the window. When it comes to getting enough sleep, light can be your worst enemy, and the longer you are exposed to it, the more alert you will become.

4.No “making up” sleep on the weekends

Forget the concept that you can play “make up” for all of those nights of sleep you missed during the week. Sure, Saturday and Sunday may feel like great times to make up for lost sleep, but in the end you will just be throwing off your body’s circadian rhythm. A quick nap in the day can be ok, but if you’re wondering how to sleep better, sleeping in until noon is not the answer. Instead, stick to a daily sleep schedule that includes the weekends, and your body will naturally adhere to your sleep regimen.

5. Cut the Sound

Whether you live in the country or the city, there are a wide variety of sounds going on at night. Unfortunately, “noise pollution” has the adverse effect of making it harder for us to fall asleep, and it can be difficult to simply tune out the sound of honking horns, crickets, or cicadas.
If you’re having trouble ignoring the sounds of the outside world, a good couple of ear plugs will do the trick. You will be surprised at how serene life becomes when you eliminate annoying noises from your sleep routine!

6. Exercise

Physical exercise is a great way to get rid of some of the anxiety before you go to bed. While exercise can help wear your body down and prep it for a good night’s rest, certain exercises may actually keep you up. Try doing something less strenuous that will help prep you for sleep, like yoga or a good walk around the block.

Your sleep is important. If you aren’t getting the full 7-9hrs that you need, you will find that you start becoming less and less productive at work and in other aspects of life. Start following these simple tips and get your sleep routine in order today!

What are your best tips on how to sleep better? Let us know in the comments section below.

How to Meet New People in 3 Simple Steps

Whether we spend the majority of our time at parties, the office, or just moving around town, as humans we all meet new people every day. And though meeting new people can be a bit intimidating at first, doing it well can really make the difference in many aspects of our daily lives.

Learning to be interesting and interested when you meet new people can be the difference between making new friends, and becoming just another face in the crowd. The following are some simple tips to help you be interesting and memorable when you meet people for the first time.

Get out There

Sometimes the idea of meeting new people can be so overwhelming that it is easier to just stay home and play games on a device of preference. And though this may be the easier option, it is never the best one.

It may seem basic, but one of the best things you can do to make yourself more interesting is to simply get out there and meet new people! This approach has two main benefits:

  1. You will meet people to be interesting for. It is hard to be interesting when there is no one around to see it.
  2. You will have many more interesting stories and adventures to share with the people you meet.

So, as you contemplate excuses to avoid the hassle of your next social event, make it your priority to attend. Just putting yourself out there will make a huge difference in the connections and experiences it will facilitate.

Observe and Listen

Sure, part of being interesting is certainly having interesting stories to tell. But when it comes down to it, people really enjoy being listened to and understood.

As you mingle with new people, make it your priority to really listen to what they have to say. Ask them questions, and when they answer, really take the time to listen. Don’t simply think of your next great response; instead pay attention to what they have to say.

Listening in this way will show that you are invested in the conversation, and the people you talk to will naturally be interested in what you have to say as well. As a consequence, you fill find that you don’t have to force conversation; it should naturally flow in a direction all participants are comfortable with.

But what if a conversation doesn’t go well, or things get a little weird? Well, that’s an interesting story you will get to share at another time. File it away under “That awkward moment when….”

Have a Plan, But Be Flexible

Going into a social engagement without a plan is a great way to get stuck in awkward conversations. As you think about your next party, consider the things you want to show off about your life and personality.

Compose a mental list of traits and stories you want to share with your new friends, and you will be ready for whatever conversation comes your way. Keep in mind that although having a plan is important, following it unfailingly isn’t.

Being flexible in your plan is an important part of being natural and interesting. If a conversation doesn’t go the way you had planned, simply change your plan and go with the flow.

Meeting new people can be a bit frightening, but armed with these simple tips you are ready to make an excellent impression!

Do you have any fun or interesting stories about how to meet new people? Share in the comments section below.

Check our blog regularly for more interesting tips and topics.

3 Essential Hiking Tips for Beginners

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It’s fall; a great time to try out some of those hikes that looked like an exercise in self-inflicted misery over the hot summer months. Do you have any destinations you’ve had a hankering to try? Was your interest “peaked” by any of those social media posts by friends who endured the misery of 90+ Fahrenheit temps for the perfect picture at the end of the trail? No matter where you end up hiking this fall, these hiking tips for beginners can make sure you get started on the right path… pun intended.

Whatever your fitness level may be, hiking is a great way to improve on it. Check your weather forecast and start planning your adventure, because there’s probably not a whole lot of time between now and skiing season to view the incredible color explosion that is autumn in the Rocky Mountains!

We’ve all heard the old cliché of the journey being more important than the destination, but when it comes to the joys of hiking, it is absolutely true. Choosing and completing a hike is just as much about enjoying each moment, each new scene, and making lasting memories, as it is about accomplishing what you set out to do.

Hiking Tip #1: Remember Your Skill Level

However, memories and scenery aside, while an easy hike can sometimes be a great break for everyone, choosing hikes that are consistently easier than your skill level can get boring. The same can be said of choosing hikes that are too strenuous. Overworking yourself while hiking is a great way to ensure that you’ll never want to hike again.

A great hiking tip to keep in mind is that if you actually want hiking to become a regular and enjoyable part of your life, choose manageable hikes that are a little bit challenging but have a point of interest – like a waterfall or natural “wonder” at the end. This will ensure that you are not only capable of completing the actual hiking, but that you are motivated by the visual reward at the end.

Hiking Tip #2: Understand the Logistics

When choosing a hiking path or trail, it is important to plan the logistics carefully. There are many great websites and blog posts full of hiking tips about interesting hiking trails, their skill and difficulty level, and sights to be had at the end of the path.

Another great hiking tip is that it’s always a good idea to search these for any information that can prepare you in a way as to make your hike a greater experience.

Here are a few things you may want to consider as you plan the details of your journey.

  • How long is the hike? If your hike will take more than a few hours, you may want to consider ramping up the outdoor experience by camping on the trail.
  • Are dogs allowed on the trail? If they are, maybe you should bring your furry friend along!
  • Where will you be? If you plan to hike alone, it is especially important to let someone know where your hike starts and ends so they can help track you down in an emergency.
  • Do you have enough supplies? Taking too many supplies on a short hike can make for serious work. But getting caught halfway through a long hike without food or water can also have serious consequences. Find the balance. Carry water appropriate to your needs and especially for warmer temperatures.
  • What is the weather like? Dressing appropriately can mean the difference between an exciting adventure and a torturous trek, so make your clothing decisions wisely. If you’re hiking in a canyon be especially sure that there is no possibility of rainfall and try to avoid areas prone to flash flooding. Summer is a better time to attempt these trails.

Hiking Tip #3: Be Flexible

Having a good plan in place is really important, but sometimes, unexpected things happen. If you run into any difficulties you hadn’t planned for, don’t be afraid to call off your hike or change your itinerary.

Paying attention to the environment you are in is a very important part of successful hiking. If you get lost or experience trouble, a great tip to know is to make sure to stay put and try to contact your friends or family.

Hiking is an exciting way to improve your fitness and get outdoors, so follow these tips and make the most of your next hike! Follow our blog for more useful tips. Check City also offers financial services to keep your budget in great shape!

7 Ways to Stay Motivated for Your At Home Workouts

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Staying motivated to work out is hard, especially for those at home workouts. There are many reasons for working out at home, some of those reasons include: spending less time traveling to and from the gym, saving money not going to the gym, being able to dress the way you want, etc.

Whatever your reason for working out at home, it doesn’t get any easier as the days go on. With so many distractions in the home, it’s easy to get sidetracked from your home fitness goals. Don’t let the TV, the computer, or the pantry keep you from achieving your fitness goals! Here are 7 tips to help you stay motivated when working out at home:

  1. Schedule a “Backup” Time to Work Out Each Day
    Most articles at home workouts tell you to schedule a specific time to work out each day, which is really good advice. However, life happens and usually that means your schedule is going to be messed up, interrupted, or thrown out of whack.
    To prepare for times when your day does not go exactly according to plan, you can set aside two times a day for a workout. You do not have to schedule big chunks of time; just keep it to a simple 10 to 30 minutes, and you’ll still reap plenty of benefits from the exercise. If something gets in the way of the first time slot, you’ve got the second one to fall back on.
    Whether you actually work out twice a day is up to you—just be careful not to overtrain.
  2. Look Ahead
    Making a day by day schedule is great, but what are you going to do when the holidays come around? Or what are you going to do when you go on vacation? Try to look ahead at the events you have on your calendar and make a plan for working out during those times.
  3. Set Realistic Goals
    If you are going from sitting on the couch all day to doing at home workouts regularly, you probably shouldn’t expect a sudden change in your abilities. Try to get at least a small workout in once a day Monday through Friday and use the weekend to relax and reset your goals. Whether you get on the treadmill, take a short walk, or do crunches by the bed, doing a little something is better than nothing.
  4. It’s important to set realistic goals at the start, you’ll be able to set more ambitious goals further down the road as you build strength and endurance. That’s when you really get to see results!

  5. Don’t Put Your Equipment Away
    Putting your workout shoes, clothing, weights, and mats out of sight also means they are out of mind. Keep your workout equipment in a place that is easily seen and readily accessible—like your front room as you walk in the door. Subconsciously, you’ll be much more likely to work out instead of, say, heading straight for the remote control.
  6. Track Your Progress/Write it down
    There are phone apps and different programs online that you can use to track your home workouts and your progress. However, there is nothing quite like having a physical piece of paper that you can write your fitness goals on and see every single day by your workout area or your bed.
  7. Ask Friends to Help Keep You Accountable
    Though you may not be working out with other people, you can ask your friends and family to help keep tabs on you and your work out. Ask your friends to keep in touch and ask you about your goals and how you are doing with your daily workouts.
  8. Use Your Children in Your Work Out
    Many people think that having children is the end of your own personal life. But you can use your children to help you stay on track. Children have good memories and will help to remind you to keep your fitness goals. You can even have them workout along with you for a fun family activity!

Stay on Track With Your Financial Goals, Too!

Sticking with anything you set out to do requires motivation and perseverance, just like working out or starting a budget. To help you stay motivated, check back with our blog for more budgeting and fitness tips and tricks. Check City also offers many financial services for the whole family!

How do you stay motivated to work out? Share your stories in the comment section below!

The Science of Skipping Breakfast: Is Breakfast Really Most Important Meal of the Day?

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You’ve probably had someone tell you that “skipping breakfast is bad” and that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Perhaps that person was your mother or your spouse.

Many people hold religiously to the idea that breakfast is of the utmost importance and that skipping it is tantamount to chopping years off your life. Others remain firmly in the breakfast-skipping camp, happily carrying on with their lives free from a morning meal of cereal or oatmeal.

Skipping Breakfast May Be OK

Science has lent some credence to the breakfast skipper’s refusal to cave to their peer’s admonitions: recent research shows that it’s probably OK to go without breakfast. In one study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 300 volunteers who were trying to lose weight were instructed to either eat breakfast or skip it entirely. At the end of the study, there was no significant difference in the weight loss results between the two groups.

Other studies, as reported by Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times, also support the idea that skipping breakfast isn’t bad for your health. As she put it, “If you like breakfast, fine; but if not, don’t sweat it.”

Conflicting Data

Writing for The Atlantic, James Hamblin pointed out that science on the matter of breakfast has been starkly divided. Some studies indicate that eating breakfast helps lower the risk of heart disease. In fact, WebMD has an article titled “Why Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day.”
It makes sense that children need breakfast to perform well at school. What that breakfast includes is probably more important that whether or not it’s eaten in the first place. Sugary cereals are not very likely to prepare a child for a good day at school as they will produce an almost instant sugar spike, followed by a lull in energy and cravings for more sugary items.
It’s actually much better to go with whole grains, lean protein and a fruit or vegetable. Eating a meal comprised of these food items will help maintain a more stable glucose level, a feeling of being fuller for longer and will help control any cravings for sugar laden snacks.

As far as weight gain goes, a study at the University of Bath showed that people who eat breakfast consume more calories than those who skip it. It’s long been a widely held belief that the breakfast-eaters would gain more weight as a result, but the same study also showed that breakfast-skippers burned fewer calories throughout the day. Therefore the effects between the two groups evened out.
There’s been a prevalent myth that skipping breakfast causes you to consume more calories later in the day. The idea is that you’ll end up being so ravenous that you’ll consume larger quantities of food for lunch and dinner. However, the research just doesn’t support this claim.

Quality of Breakfast Counts More Than Whether You Skip It or Not

It’s a little silly to discuss whether skipping breakfast is bad for you without considering the quality of that breakfast in the first place. If you eat a breakfast high in sugar and trans fat, like pancakes with butter, cream and syrup, with a side of eggs and bacon, is that really better than eating no breakfast at all?

So it logically follows that skipping breakfast may be OK—as long as the other meals you eat are of a high nutritional quality.
Now you don’t have to let others guilt you into eating breakfast if you’re one of those people who prefer to skip it. Just try to eat a balanced, nutritious diet for the rest of the day. Check in with our blog regularly for more helpful health and fitness articles. You can also keep your finances in shape by visiting our services page for information regarding insurance quotes, bill pay and tax preparation.

How do you feel about skipping breakfast? Were you raised on the mantra that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

What is Overtraining and How to Avoid It

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One of the biggest questions people ask when they first approach weight training is what is overtraining how long they should rest between workouts.

Answers can vary, depending on your reasons and goals, but most fitness trainers will put the number at around 48 hours.
The main emphasis, of course, should be that rest is extremely important. Unless your muscles are given enough time to recover from the stress of working and lifting, you won’t see very good results and you run the risk of setting yourself up for injury.
Whether you need exactly 48 hours between workout sessions is debatable. By focusing on different muscle groups every day, you can work out 5 or 6 days a week and still give your muscles enough time to recover.

What is Overtraining, and What Does it Have to do With Resting?

If you’re planning to work out nearly every day, it’s important to remember that without a proper training schedule you risk overtraining.

Many people think what overtraining means is working out too much, which isn’t necessarily true. Bodybuilders and competitive lifters work out for several hours each day, but most of them are able to avoid overtraining completely. The amount of time you spend lifting weights isn’t really the issue.

The real cause of overtraining is overworking a specific muscle group and not allowing sufficient rest time for the muscles in that group to recover. If you don’t take the time to rest, your muscles will get over-stressed. This can lead to pain, injury and at the very least, you simply won’t get the results you want – you won’t see or feel any improvement.

Quality of Rest is More Important Than Quantity

While the 48 hour mark is important to keep in mind, you should also be aware that when it comes to resting muscle, quality is more important than quantity. Even if you avoid working those muscles for the full 48 hours, you’re not necessarily avoiding overtraining and giving your muscles the “rest” they need.

This is especially true if you’re eating junk food or sitting around all day with terrible posture. This is because an absence of proper nutrients and healthy movement will negatively impact any efforts you make to strengthen and build muscle.

On the other hand, when you eat healthy lean proteins and use fruit and vegetables to provide carbohydrate fuel, you’re feeding your muscles the nutrients they need to regenerate and grow stronger. You should also get a full night’s sleep and practice good posture, stretching and regular cardio exercises to help with joints and muscle tightness.

Resting StrategiesM

There are many ways to work out practically every day and still avoiding overtraining and get the rest your body needs to make the strength and endurance changes you expect to see. The best way to do this is to develop a workout schedule that varies from day to day. Try to break up your schedule into alternating upper body, lower body and cardio days. Abdominal exercises can be split between the three provided you are isolating different core muscles for each day.

Do not work the same muscle groups two days in a row. Depending on the form of cardio you choose to do, it’s not always a good idea to follow a lower body weight workout with a running or fast walking day. Learn to isolate specific muscle groups so that you will know how to avoid over working them. Don’t just perform an exercise because you’re familiar with how to do it, learn exactly what effect each exercise has on specific muscles.

Always Make Time for Resting

Always take at least one full rest day and be sure to do some light stretching, light walking/moving and healthy eating that day.
Not everybody wants to look like a bodybuilder. Some people just want to maintain the muscle they already have. But no matter what your fitness goals are, you should always include time for quality rest.

For more great tips and helpful information, be sure to check in regularly with our blog. Don’t forget we offer some great services to help strengthen your finances too!

The Best Cold Remedy | How to Cure a Cold This School Year

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The school year has started and that means that pretty soon, whether you like it or not, you’re most likely going to be searching for the best cold remedy out there pretty soon. Trying to help your child when they are sick can be one of the hardest things a parent faces. When it comes to kid’s health, not every childhood plague can be cured with a trip to the doctor’s office. Take the common cold for example: it’s one of those little medical marvels that spreads rapidly and has no cure. It brings with it the misery of sinus congestion, wreaks havoc on little throats, and can cause all sorts of mischief with tiny ears and lungs.

The good news is, there are things you can do to help your child feel more comfortable while they endure this uninvited little happiness hijacker. While there’s no exactly way how to cure a cold Check City has compiled seven of the best cold remedies to get you through the stress of parenting a child who is miserable with cold!

1. Over-the-counter cold medications

Pay close attention to the age limits on cold medications. If your child is under the age of 4, pretty much every label will recommend that you seek the advice of a doctor before dispensing a dose to your baby. Even for older children, it can sometimes be safer to try home cold remedies first, and only use a medication with the guidance of your physician.

However, there are many good over the counter medications that can help with congestion, coughing and sinus pain. If you think your tiny one is struggling more than usual and could benefit from medicinal help, don’t hesitate to call your local health center.

2. Keep your child home

The common cold is contagious, and as much as our society loves the convenience of crowdsourcing these days, shared illness is not on the list of preferred contributions! It’s always a good idea to keep your school-aged children home to avoid infecting other kids in their class.

A cold is contagious for the first three to four days after symptoms appear. However, if symptoms do not start improving after a week, this can indicate a bacterial infection, which will require more time at home and possibly some antibiotics. The added rest a child gets from being at home can help them recover faster, so they can return to school sooner.

3. Hydration is Key!

Your child will need to stay hydrated in order to recover quickly and completely. Any fluid is better than no fluid at all: water is great, juice and electrolyte replacements are fine. Try to avoid soda where possible. One great trick for keeping your child hydrated—give them popsicles. Sugar free popsicles are even better as they won’t feed any bacteria that may be trying to set up home in tiny throats.

Another great way to keep them hydrated and nourished is to use the old tried-and-true cold remedy; chicken soup. The warm chicken broth will sooth them, and may also have anti-inflammatory affects and relieve soreness. (Add their favorite noodles for fun. The carbs will ensure your child’s body has access to the glucose it needs to keep working away!)

4. Help your child breathe with a cool-mist humidifier

You can help cure a cold by clearing out your child’s congested nasal cavities by running a cool-mist humidifier in their room. Steam from a shower can also help sooth your little one’s cold symptoms.

5. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep

One of the best cold remedies for your kids is sleep. Depending on their age, children need anywhere from 8 to 12 hours of sleep every night, and when they’re sick, they need even more.

Sleep is perhaps one of the best ways to get over the cold, because it accelerates the healing process. In fact, making sure your child gets enough sleep every night is a good way to lower their chances of getting sick in the future.

6. Treat mild fevers with a mild fever-reducer

Most of the time, it’s better to let your child’s body go through the natural process of healing itself. This means letting a fever run its course. However, if a fever is causing your child to lose sleep or feel nauseated, you can give a mild fever-reducer like ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen). Just be sure to read the label carefully for age restrictions and proper dosages. Never give your child aspirin; it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome in children, which can be quite serious.

7. Higher fevers warrant a trip to the doctor

If your child’s fever gets up to 103°F, call your doctor. Also, if your child is under 6 months, it’s a good idea to call a doctor for any fever, even a mild one.
If any of the symptoms of your child’s cold linger past a week, or if you’re worried at all about their condition, it’s a good idea to play it safe and call your doctor to set up an appointment. If in doubt, always consult your health care professional.

Creating an Exercise Program

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While you may be unsure and think that you need a personal trainer to really create the exercise program that best fits your lifestyle, hold on to that wallet! There are a lot of different ways to help you individualize your training and create a program that is right for you.
You need to start by thinking about what your goals are. Will you need to change your diet? Devote a certain period of time each day? Or just keep track of things in an effective way? All of these are good questions to get you started.

What Are You Doing Now?

If you are planning on changing your routine, you need to think about what is working for your right now and what isn’t. Maybe you have been trying to gain weight but you have been doing too much cardio. You have to start in the present if you want to figure out what you are going to do in the future.

Making Sustainable Changes

Many people who create an exercise program don’t think about whether it will be sustainable or not. This is HUGE! If you don’t want to end up like the millions of others out there who work out the first week for their New Year’s resolutions and then end up giving up. It needs to be something that you can fit into and ultimately make it part of your lifestyle. You don’t want to peak out, burn out, and then go back to where you were before.

Your primary goal should always be your all-around health.

Use Technology

We are living in the 21st century, so there is no excuse for you not to have a good record of everything that you do. Not only that, but you should be able to record your progress as well. Most of the apps that can help you do this are absolutely free! If you aren’t recording your progress, it can be hard to see where you need help and it can be even harder to stay motivated.

Throw in Little Workouts Throughout the Day

A lot of times we think that it is all about the gym and what we get done in that one hour. That is not everything though. You need to be able to little exercises throughout the day as well. This can be a quick 50 pushups at work or pullups when you get home. Maybe you decide to ride your bike to work. Whatever it is, when you incorporate small exercises throughout the day, what you are really doing is creating an active lifestyle.

Change it up

You may be a skinny guy who wants to bulk up. Don’t get too caught up in the weightlifting though. Same goes for the people who are so focused on losing weight that they only do cardio. It is important to change things up so your body doesn’t get burned out. This will also prevent you from hitting plateaus in your work out.

Apply these tips when you are starting your workout regimen and you will be well on your way to a healthier and more active lifestyle!

7 Amazing Ways Regular Exercise Can Improve Your Brain Power

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When it comes to exercise, we tend to focus on the physical benefits. We tell ourselves, you’re going to get great abs, or you’ll finally be able to wear that amazing bikini to the beach! But if you need some extra motivation to go to the gym, there are many excellent reasons to work out.

What’s often overlooked is that there are amazing mental benefits to regular exercise. Here are 7 ways that working out regularly can boost your brain power:

1.Exercise lowers your stress level

Feeling stressed about work or just life in general? Try a quick workout to help alleviate feelings of stress. You’ll not only feel better, but your cells will actually be less stressed as well. That’s according to a 2010 study at the University of California, San Francisco, which showed that the cells of women who worked out showed fewer signs of aging than the cells of women who didn’t exercise.

2.Regular exercise gives you more energy to get things done

The excuse that you don’t have enough time to exercise needs to be permanently put to rest. The opposite is true: people who exercise regularly are more productive overall and have increased energy throughout the day, according to a study 2008 by the University of Georgia.

3.Exercise makes you happier

Regular exercise helps boost the production of “happy” chemicals in our brains, according to a 2010 study that showed working out increases the GABA chemical which is responsible for improved mood.

4.Exercise improves your self-image

You won’t just look better to others—exercise makes you feel better about your overall self-image.

5.Exercise helps you learn better

Regular exercise is proven to increase the production of so-called “growth factors” in your brain. Basically, it helps form new connections in your brain, improving your ability to learn new things.

6.Exercise improves your cognitive abilities as you age

As we get older, our bodies age and so do our brains. One way to stay mentally fit is to work out the brain with “brain games,” but physical exercise actually is more effective at slowing cognitive decline. A study conducted in Scotland of 70-year-olds, showed that participants who exercised regularly saw better cognitive results than those who only exercised their brains.

7.Exercise improves you memory

Regular exercise helps spur the growth of cells in your hippocampus, the part of your brain largely responsible for memory. In a study of 9 and 10 year olds, conducted at the University of Illinois in 2010, children who got plenty of exercise had a bigger hippocampus, the area of the brain which is largely responsible for memory.
Overall wellness is incomplete without regular exercise
When it comes down to it, your body is not going to be at its best without regular exercise, and that includes your brain. Whoever wrote that our minds were separate from our bodies was terribly wrong—they are connected in vital ways, and if you neglect your body, you’re neglecting your brain as well.

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