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Getting in shape doesn’t have to be complicated. If you incorporate these five simple fitness tips into your routine, you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling great.

Keep Moving

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week for the average adult. That works out to about 21 minutes of moderate exercise or 11 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. For the busy person, setting aside time for the gym might prove tricky. Chances are, though, even the busiest person can work in twenty minutes of movement.

Have a few minutes while microwaving lunch? Walk briskly in place. Waiting for water to boil? Try some jumping jacks.Keep your toes tapping and legs moving while working at your desk. For a bonus, take breaks as frequently as possible to stretch — even if it’s just raising your arms and straightening your torso. Need to clean? Turn on some music and make it fun. You’ll get your exercise in and wind up with a tidier home.

The bottom line: wherever you are or whatever you’re doing, keep your muscles moving. Even if you’re just walking in place, every little step counts.

Make It Fun

Some people like going to the gym and sweating on the treadmill or elliptical. If you’re one of those people, great. Renew your gym membership or buy some exercise equipment and knock yourself out. For everyone else, typical workouts can be a drudge.

If the gym isn’t for you, forcing yourself to go isn’t a long-term solution. Eventually, you’ll get tired of it and stop. Why not find some type of physical activity you enjoy instead? For example, dance classes, roller derby, basketball, hiking, rock climbing, or bike riding. The possibilities are endless.

No time for a new hobby? No problem. Fitness can be as simple as flipping on some music and dancing your feet off for as long as you can. Determined to make the whole gym thing work? Try spicing up your workout by listening to an audiobook or podcast while working up a sweat.

Buddy Up

The old adage “there’s strength in numbers” applies doubly to fitness. Finding a partner or group to exercise with makes it easier to meet your fitness goals. Having trouble getting out of bed and going to the gym in the morning? If it’s just you, it’s much easier to hit snooze and go back to dreaming of pizza and ice cream. However, if you’re meeting a friend, you’re more likely to haul yourself out of bed to avoid standing him or her up.

Having a fitness buddy also helps with accountability and motivation. A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that 95 percent of participants who began a fitness program with friends completed the program. Only 76 percent of solo participants finished the program. Those who participated with friends also lost more weight than those who didn’t.

Treat Yourself

You’re working hard. You exercise and you eat right. Do something nice for yourself! As you meet your goals — or just maintain them — reward yourself for your efforts. It’s okay to have a slice of cheesecake every once in a while; just don’t go overboard.

Food isn’t the only reward to consider. You could also treat yourself with new clothes or a new game, a night out — whatever appeals to you. By giving yourself a reward, you’re reinforcing the idea that you’ve achieved something. When you complete tasks and reach your goals, the reward center in your brain sends out dopamine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.

The better getting fit makes you feel, the more likely you are to stick with it.

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Easy Home Remedies to Help With Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a real disease that warrants medical help. Over 15 million Americans are affected by it, equaling over 6% of the country’s population. Depression is all-encompassing and can take a toll on a person’s day to day life. It can also run the range from mild to dangerously severe.

If you or a family member suffers from depression, it is important to seek a medical professional’s help. They can determine a proper treatment for you and your individual situation. In some cases, medication and therapy are both needed to reduce the symptoms of this illness.

These aren’t the only options though. Lifestyle changes and natural home remedies can offer some possible relief. Remember to always check with a medical professional first before making any changes. Also, keep in mind that even though these might work for one person, it doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. Everyone is different and will have to find the right remedy to be effective for them.

Eat Happy Foods

It’s a well-known fact that food can affect your mood. Foods like cherries, chocolate, coconut oil, eggs, and flax seed can actually stimulate serotonin production. When we talk about comfort food to make us feel better, we’re talking about serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in our body that handles our mood. Prescription drugs like Prozac work in a similar manner to raise the levels in our brain.

Say No to Coffee, Yes to Green Tea

Coffee is a daily requirement and standby for many. It can help you keep going when you have a lot of things to do and no energy to do it. However, the energy boost comes with a significant crash once the caffeine wears off. You may end up feeling even more exhausted than before you drank the coffee.

Green tea can be a great alternative to coffee. It has a small amount of caffeine, but it also boasts L-theanine. This amino acid helps reduce anxiety and boost your mood. It is also popular for many other ailments and uses.

Pause and Meditate

With everything that needs to be done on a daily basis, the chaos and noise can become overwhelming. Meditation can help quiet it all. Clearing the mind when you have a lot on your plate is a great way to help with your mood and overall well-being. All you need is a quiet place and about half an hour to shut out the world and just BE.

Acupuncture

The Chinese have used acupuncture for thousands of years. This means that this form of alternative medicine must work for some people. Practitioners tell us there are 400 points in the body which sometimes get clogged. The use of super-fine acupuncture needles opens these points up. They can help in alleviating the symptoms of depression along with other ailments.

Chamomile Tea

When you are depressed, it is hard to sleep. Chamomile tea can help with calming your mind and body. Boil your water, steep the tea, and add a little bit of milk and honey. You should be able to get the restful sleep you need soon.

Load up on B-Vitamins

B-Vitamins play a role in producing chemicals that get the brain running. People who have a deficiency in them tend to be irritable and in a permanent fog. Try eating more fish, cheese, shellfish, spinach, and bell peppers. They are a great source of this vitamin and others.

Magnesium

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant substance on earth which could be why it is often ignored. This mineral is responsible for a ton of biomechanical functions. It helps produce energy, regulate the heart, and synthesize other nutrients. Magnesium can be taken in a supplement form or found in many foods.

Snack on Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are unassuming but they pack a lot of minerals, taste, and vitamins into a small package. They have healthy fat, magnesium, and protein that work together to boost your mood. Plus they are also chock full of amino acids.

Exercise

Being active is a fundamental factor in boosting a person’s mood. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy. So, whenever you feel down and sluggish, get up and go for a walk. It might be a struggle at first but you will definitely feel recharged and happier afterward.

Depending on the type and extent of your depression, you can help ease symptoms with a few simple changes. Try a few of these home remedies and see if they work for you. Just don’t forget to talk to your doctor first.


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