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Morning affirmations for a positive and productive day

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Mornings are all about new beginnings and fresh starts. They are the perfect time to put your mind in a state of utmost belief in yourself and your potential before the day unrolls and everyone else gets to have their say. That being said, you can start each day feeling the way you want to feel about yourself and your life. If you are not sure how to do that and the concept of positive morning affirmations or positive mantras is unfamiliar to you, continue reading to learn about the power of positive thinking and transforming belief.

What are morning affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you regain your motivation and overcome the limits of your beliefs. It is best to practice them in the morning, preferably in front of a mirror. I know, this may sound a bit silly and wacky, but time and practice will show you how inspiring they can be and how they can change your mindset for the better.

Morning Affirmations

The reason positive affirmations work is that
they help surpass the limiting beliefs installed in us by sending a positive
message to parts of our subconscious. Regardless of whether you are struggling
with motivation to start the day, be productive, achieve success, lose weight, or
you are just lacking a general sense of happiness and contentment, positive
morning affirmation are a good start towards setting your mind towards the
achievement of those goals.

How to say morning affirmations?

While the checklist below on how to say morning affirmations is not a complete blueprint by any stretch of the imagination, it is definitely a solid framework that will help you practice your morning affirmations, especially if you are doing them for the first time.

  1. Choose statements that you can relate to, or create your own. Use words like trying or willing. You must be able to believe the affirmation in order for it to be effective.
  2. Say the affirmation in the first person, present tense, out loud. For example, say I can or I am instead of I will.
  3. Adjust the affirmation to what you want to cultivate that particular day.
  4. Believe the words you are saying! You must accept them as the ultimate truth.
  5. Repetition is definitely a key! Start by repeating each affirmation at least three times in the morning, and then use them during the day whenever you feel the need. The more often you use these affirmations, the more your brain will look for opportunities to support what you are confirming.

Benefits of morning affirmations

Affirmations work to improve all aspects of your life because they help make your life become filled with positivity and gratitude. The benefits of morning affirmations are numerous, and youll know you are on the right path when you start noticing (and this you definitely will) that:

  • you are less negative
  • you only surround yourself with positive people and things
  • good things ARE happening to you
  • you have a better perspective of things
  • you have a better focus
  • you are more grateful

A team of scientists published a paper in Behaviour Research and Therapy, arguing for the utility for positive ideation, even in circumstances where people are faced with a generalized anxiety disorder. According to their findings:

The replacement of worry with different forms of positive ideation, even when unrelated to the content of worry itself, seems to have similar beneficial effects, suggesting that any form of positive ideation can be used to effectively counter worry.

Eagleson C, Hayes S, Mathews A, Perman G, Hirsch CR. The power of positive thinking: Pathological worry is reduced by thought replacement in Generalized Anxiety Disorder.Behav Res Ther. 2016;78:1318. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.017

When to do morning affirmations?

Morning Affirmations For A Positive Day

Although there is no rule as to when it is the best time to use affirmations, using them in the morning is by far most effective. The main reason is that when you use affirmations in the morning, you are starting your day with a positive frame of mind. Also, saying morning affirmations just after you wake up can help get rid of any negativity from bad dreams and prevent your brain from becoming overloaded with any difficulties or problems you might be experiencing.

However, in order to maintain the positive thought flow, repeat the morning affirmations constantly throughout the day.

This will help you maintain a positive outlook, be optimistic, and perhaps improve multiple areas of your life such as health, fitness, your relationships, your career, etc.

How to create your own affirmations?

Positive Daily Affirmations

Think about what you are seeking to attract,
and then think about the beliefs that impede you from vibrating on the right
frequency. Do you feel insecure about something? Is there a fear haunting you?
As unpleasant as this first stage of the process is, it will help you design
affirmations that will bring you greater confidence and a more positive
self-image.

As a next step, get this negative belief out of
your mind by writing it down. By doing this, you are symbolically detaching
yourself from this assumption and getting ready to replace it with positive and
encouraging ones. Find the opposite of this negative belief and make it the
center of your affirmation. In doing so, stay clear from words that carry
negative connotations like dont, wont, or cant and use only positive
language.

For example, instead of replacing the negative thought I am ugly with I am not ugly, use a stronger and more positive statement, like I am beautiful. This will make your affirmation much more effective.

It is that simple, really!

However, if you need some inspiration throughout this process, there are a lot of ready-made powerful affirmations that may help you deal with a range of issues. The following list of morning affirmations might inspire you to create your own.

Morning affirmations for
success

  1. I
    believe I can do whatever I set my mind to.
  2. I
    am strong and I am attracting great opportunities.
  3. I
    have dreams and goals that I am going to achieve.
  4. I
    am the sole creator of my life.
  5. I
    embrace every challenge as an opportunity to grow.
  6. I
    am brave. I am willing to face my fears.
  7. Today
    I am prepared for success.
  8. I
    will prosper. There are no limits to my growth.
  9. I
    will stay focused on my goals.
  10. I
    am a winner.

Morning affirmations for weight
loss

  1. I
    am losing weight.
  2. I
    am confident about how I look.
  3. I
    listen to my bodys needs.
  4. I
    take care of my body.
  5. I
    feel good in my body.
  6. I
    love eating healthy and going to the gym.
  7. I
    believe I am able to change my habits and create better and healthier ones.
  8. Every
    day brings me closer to my ideal weight.
  9. I
    am strong in body and mind.
  10. I
    am unstoppable. I can achieve the body I want.

Morning affirmations for a
productive day

  1. Today
    is going to be a good day.
  2. Today
    I focus on the good.
  3. I
    will fill this day with positive thoughts.
  4. I
    believe in my potential.
  5. I
    allow myself to go after my dreams.
  6. I
    feel motivated.
  7. I
    am determined and I will not give up.
  8. I
    know that each day is a new opportunity for great things.
  9. I
    greet this day with excitement about the possibilities that it brings.
  10. I
    have what it takes to overcome any obstacles.

Morning affirmations for happiness

  1. I
    am choosing to be grateful and happy today.
  2. I
    am happy, I am healthy, I am strong.
  3. I
    am open to happiness and joy.
  4. I
    am worth loving.
  5. Today
    is full of beautiful moments.
  6. I
    am grateful for the happiness I feel today.
  7. I
    am surrounded by positive energy and peace.
  8. I
    am focused on finding happiness everywhere.
  9. I
    am open to receive happiness and kindness.
  10. Today
    I am allowing myself to stay positive and happy.

These are just some examples of positive morning affirmations that you can adopt, adapt or use as guidelines while creating your own. You can find thousands more online, and if you want to get really inspired and get rid of any doubt that you might still have in their effectiveness, I personally recommend you start this journey by following Louise Hay, and watching her YouTube videos.

When to start the practice

Besides her amazing heartening life story, you will find many positive daily affirmations to uplift your day and help you create your best life.

Making a habit

Practicing positive morning affirmations is all about creating a strong set of habits. Habits of belief, habits of having a positive outlook, habits of repetition Having that in mind, the best way to adopt this set of habits is to anchor the practice of morning affirmations into your life. The most effective method? Tie it up with another habit.

Making It A Habit

A good way to approach this would be to have a very simple habit that you perform almost in a state of automation. This can be drinking your morning cup of tea, or having your breakfast.

Once you decide on the activity, simply make it a habit to follow this same activity with a practice of morning affirmations. You can spend one or two minutes at the beginning, and up the time window slightly from there onward.

That being said, to practice positive morning affirmations is to adopt a set of habits that inevitably leads to an improved self-image, better outlook, and plenty of mental energy to tackle whatever the day may bring. It is worth a try, isnt it after all, what is there to lose?

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Training Tips

Making the Most of Apple Fitness+

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An email from Life Time hit my inbox a few days ago with a subject line that immediately caught my attention: “Action Required! Renew your Apple Fitness+ promo code to continue your complimentary subscription.”

For the past four months, Apple Fitness+ has been an integral part of my health and wellness routine. It’s been an unexpected yet awesome addition to the many offerings in the Life Time Digital app experience. As a Life Time team member, I’ve had a front-row seat to all the available features in Life Times digital app — training programs, educational content, and live-streaming classes, in addition to Apple Fitness+ — and letting the latter lapse wasn’t an option for me.

You see, I’ve been a hybrid workout routine since earlier this year, following Coach Anika’s “Leaner and Stronger” program in the app, and then supplementing the strength sessions — and often replacing the low-impact/recovery days altogether — with offerings from Apple Fitness+.

I’ve grown accustomed to taking walks with the likes of Anderson Cooper, Misty Copeland, and Jane Fonda, thanks to the “Time to Walk” feature. I like the convenience of quick-hit HIIT finishers with Bakari and treadmill workouts with Scott and Sam — or going to my yoga mat and finding my breath (and moments of peace) with Jonelle and Jessica.

These workouts, whether 10 minutes or 45, have helped keep me accountable, while also inspiring me to try new things and add a little more variety to my routine. These are a few of the reasons I’m not ready to let it lapse:

1. The wide range of options. With more than 10 categories of workout types — and new classes being offered every week in each one — there’s a ton of high-quality content to choose from. I’ve done 30-minute treadmill workouts that have left me breathless, 20-minute HIIT sessions that have made me burn, and 10-minute Mindful Cooldowns that are ideal for stretching after a long day of sitting or unwinding before bed. I’m not sure workout boredom is a possibility.

2. The array of top-notch instructors. I have yet to encounter an Apple Fitness+ trainer who hasn’t brought it all to their class. While not all of them are great fits for me, they are all knowledgeable, engaging, and energetic. They are diverse in their identities and abilities, and they are phenomenal at taking your mind off the work at hand — without compromising form or quality. The mindful strategies they use to encourage and motivate have helped me believe in myself and push through when I otherwise might have slowed down or stopped.

3. The music. Apple’s license to music of all sorts is unmatched. I’ve discovered some of the latest Latin hits, run to the top get-on-the-dance floor songs, and more. Plus, I can save the playlists in Apple Music, so I can listen again (and again) later on.

4. The integration with my Apple Watch. This might be my favorite feature: The connection between my iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV and Apple Watch so I can monitor my workout intensity is seamless. I love seeing my Activity rings close — and using the burn bar in the cardio workouts to gauge how my activity efforts stack up compared with others who’ve completed the workout.

5. The convenience factor. My iPhone is with me most of the time — and I wear my Apple Watch every day. So, the fact that I can do these workouts (along with others from Life Time in the app) anywhere helps me stay on track with my health and fitness, no matter where I am. On a recent weekend getaway with a couple of my girlfriends, for instance, we snuck in 20-minute bodyweight strength sessions each morning — a good sweat before a day of lounging poolside was just what we needed. 

Apple Fitness+ also offers targeted workouts programs for beginners, older adults, and during pregnancy — I’ll be watching for future offerings that match my goals. So far, I’ve gotten a lot out of this feature and am excited to dip my toes into others as they become available.

For more about the Apple Fitness+ partnership with Life Time and how it’s included in membership, visit Lifetime.life/join/digital-membership.html.

Current Life Time members: To activate or renew your Apple Fitness+ access, download the Life Time Digital app and simply click on the Apple Fitness+ tile and follow the instructions.

The post Making the Most of Apple Fitness+ appeared first on Experience Life.

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Training Tips

Exercising After a C-Section

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After giving birth, many women wonder when they can get back to their exercise routine, but it can be particularly confusing for women who delivered via cesarean, or C-section.

“[A C-section] is a major abdominal surgery, and just like any other surgery, it takes time to heal,” says Blair Green, DPT, pelvic-health specialist and coauthor of Go Ahead, Stop and Pee: Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum. Typically, experts recommend waiting six weeks after surgery before restarting your exercise routine, but women who are recovering from a C-section may need to wait longer.

Not only does the incision itself need to heal before you can start exercising, but the core muscles — which are active in every movement we make — have to be retrained.

“If we cut through [our core muscles], they’re essentially ‘injured,’ and even though the injury was a surgery, they still need time to heal and retrain themselves,” Green says.

Here are some tips on when — and how — to exercise after a C-section. 

IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY

  1. Protect your incision

“Initially, you want to protect your incision,” says Jennifer Joslyn, DPT, a physical therapist at Motion Minnesota who specializes in pelvic health. This means avoiding movements that could irritate the incision, like excessive twisting, bending, and lifting heavy objects. Ideally, you’ll avoid these types of movements for the first few weeks following surgery.

“Most women don’t feel well enough to even do much more than just household walking distances and taking care of the baby until about three weeks out,” says Elizabeth Chumanov, DPT, PhD, co-coordinator of the Active Moms Clinic at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.

  1. Practice diaphragmatic breathing

While you may not be able — or necessarily want — to exercise while you recover, there are small things you can do during those six weeks to help you begin restoring core strength and function. “One thing I always recommend is deep diaphragmatic breathing,” Green says.

Your diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates your chest and abdominal cavities, and acts as the primary muscle of respiration. It actually works with your abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles — a group of muscles on the bottom of your pelvis that support your pelvic organs and help with posture. This means that simply activating the diaphragm can help restore the function of your entire core.

But also that deep breathing helps you heal, because it transports blood and oxygen to your tissues,” Green says.

To do it, lie on your back, place both hands on your rib cage, and take 10 to 20 deep breaths. As you inhale, you should feel air coming into your ribs and abdomen. “And then, when you breathe out, you should feel your ribs funneling down and in, and your abdomen should drop,” Green says.

In an ideal world, you would practice deep breathing three or four times a day. That said, many new moms are simply trying to adjust to their new routine, and may struggle with adding anything else to their plate. So, Green recommends focusing on deep breathing for five minutes at the start and/or end of your day.

  1. Don’t overdo it

Light walking is OK, too, as long as there’s no pain, Green says. But if you were on bedrest for any length of your pregnancy, you’ll want to take greater care with starting any kind of activity — light walking included. “I know a couple of women who were on bedrest for six months of their pregnancy, and in those situations, I would not recommend waking up two weeks after you had a baby and going for a walk,” Green says.

AFTER YOUR SIX-WEEK CHECKUP

  1. Start with basic strength exercises

Once your OB/GYN has cleared you for exercise, typically six weeks after giving birth, you can start incorporating basic strength exercises like squats, lunges, bird-dogs, and planks. In the early stages of rebuilding your fitness, avoid high-intensity and high-impact activities like heavy strength training, running, bootcamp-style and metabolic-conditioning circuits, and plyometrics. You want to make sure your core and pelvic floor are healed and strong enough to handle those types of dynamic movements.

  1. Ease into running, plyometrics, and heavy weightlifting

If you’re a runner, Green recommends giving yourself eight to 12 weeks to recover and retrain your abdominal muscles, and starting with a run-walk program. You can also do low-impact cardio exercise like biking, rowing, or the elliptical to rebuild your fitness before you jump into running again. And if you do plyometrics or heavy weightlifting, wait three to six months, Green says.

  1. Pay attention to how you feel

When you do exercise, listen to what your body is telling you. If you experience pain, heaviness, or pressure in the pelvic floor, doming or coning in your abdomen, urine or stool leakage, or any pain or irritation in your C-section scar, this could be a sign that the exercise should be modified, Joslyn says.

If your abdomen pushes out during an exercise (referred to as “coning” or “doming”), for example, chances are your abdominal muscles aren’t strong enough yet to handle that exercise. Or, it may mean that you need to breathe or activate your core in a different way.

  1. Reactivate your core muscles

“When you’re pregnant, your body has to make room for your baby, and your tissues and muscles are stretching and expanding,” Joslyn says, “and so once you have your baby, initially it may be hard to find those core muscles again and activate them.”

To help women relearn how to activate their core, Joslyn recommends an exercise that targets your deep core muscle — the transverse abdominis. Here’s how to do the move:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on the ground.
  • With your fingers, find your hips on both sides of the front of your pelvis. Then, move your fingers in 1 inch.
  • Inhale, keeping your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles relaxed.
  • Imagine there is a string in-between your hip bones. As you exhale, imagine that string pulling your hip bones together to engage your transverse abdominis.

Once you know how to reactivate your core muscles, you can better activate them during any other exercise.

  1. Try to be patient

Remember: Just because your doctor has cleared you for exercise doesn’t mean you’re mentally or physically ready, or that you can pick up where you left off before your pregnancy, experts say.

It’s important to adjust your exercises and timeline according to how you feel and steer clear of self-judgments that tell you that you “should” be healing or progressing differently. Some women feel great at their six-week OB/GYN appointment, whereas others feel weak and fatigued and may even be in pain.

“Everybody’s just a little bit different in terms of that [exercise] timeline,” Joslyn says.

Try not to rush into exercise, or chase the unrealistic goal of reaching your pre-baby shape as quickly as possible. Remember that your body went through a lot of changes during your pregnancy — and continues changing even after the baby is born. Rather than get hung up on ideas of reclaiming your pre-baby body or achieving an unrealistic post-baby body for you, practice the mindset of meeting your body exactly as it is each and every day.

“We need to respect the recovery time,” Green says, “and that often gets lost in the shuffle.”

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Stay Healthy And Active With These Fitness Tips

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Overall fitness isn't just about cardio. Although cardio is a major component of weight loss and heart health, it is important to incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen. Strength training builds muscle mass and helps you burn more calories post-workout. Follow these strength-training tips to amp up your workout and get a complete workout.

Alternative sports can offer people good fitness options for people, alongside the more regular forms of exercise. Free-running is a sport that emphasizes full body fitness. Climbing, running, and general agility are main requirements to free-run as you run, climb, and jump across many obstacles. Not only are they fun, but they unleash your inner child's desire to run and jump over railings, off the beaten path of adulthood.

Ankle and Knee Stability - Exercises To Build Lower Leg Strength
Source: Flickr

If you want to reach your goals in terms of fitness, then you need to work backwards. You should pick a date of completion for your fitness goals and work backwards, listing off all the short-term goals in between. This way you look at your fitness goals as deadlines.

The best way to get children interested in fitness is to be a good example and by being involved with them as much as possible. Try taking an exercise class, playing tennis or hitting a baseball together. Not only will you both benefit from the increased activity, but it's a great way to maintain a close relationship.

To help you include exercise into a tight schedule, you should walk whenever possible. That could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the office or parking at the back of a large lot to give you a brisk brief walk to the store. When it comes to working out, every little bit counts.

Add resistance training to your exercise plan. Resistance training helps build muscle. The more muscle you have in your body, the more quickly and efficiently you can burn calories. Resistance bands or light weights are good options for working out at home. You can also use your own body weight to provide resistance. Exercises, such as push-ups and squats, make your muscles bear the weight of your body and that builds strength.

After every workout, one thing you may want to do is take protein. This can be either in the form of a protein shake, a protein bar, or basically any meat product. This allows for your muscles to recover faster from your workout and overall make your muscles grow larger.

Decide to walk for 45 minutes a day instead of 30. Walking for 45 minutes has been scientifically proven by Duke University to result in fat and weight loss. This can equal up to 30 pounds of weight loss per year for just an added 15 minutes a day. For maximum weight loss, try walking up a hill instead of down.

Obviously, there are many options when it comes to working strength moves into your fitness routine. Keep doing your cardio, but additionally, choose any number of the tips mentioned to keep your muscles strong and prevent injury. Not only will you increase your calorie burn, but you'll have awesome muscle definition to boot.

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