15 Reasons why Reading a Book is a Life-Changing Experience

Neat. Post Quote: “The brain is an organ like any other and just as exercise strengthens the heart, reading strengthens the brain.”

Nicholas C. Rossis

ReadingDistractify.com recently published a list of reasons why reading a book is a life-changing experience. Here are my favorite ones!

1 . Reading a novel increases brain function for days.
Research from Emory University has found that reading a book can increase connectivity in the brain which makes neurological changes that act like muscle memory. Books not only put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense, but also in a biological sense.

2 . Reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Increased brain function is also useful for other things — various studies have shown that adults who engage in hobbies that stimulate the brain, such as reading, are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is an organ like any other and just as exercise strengthens the heart, reading strengthens the brain.

3 . Reading reduces stress.
Do you take a walk or listen to music…

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Remember to Breathe

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I’m excited to say that I started my workout again! Its been soo long and you know once you stop its extremely hard to start back up again. I’m hoping to possess enough endurance to make it a permanent part of my routine, if not everyday at least a few days a week. I really do not want to stop again, picking it back up is the worst! So anyway, about breathing.

OK so you know how when you’re exercising you get tired really fast? One thing I’ve noticed that helps me, and maybe it will help you too, is to always remember to breathe. It sounds simple but you’ll be amazed how we forget this when caught up in the moment. You see, when I get overwhelmed with a routine its mostly because I need to catch my breath. I know some of you may be thinking, “But I do breathe!” No, not like that. When I say breathe I mean breath out. Exhale and get a rhythm going. Instead of breathing regularly and trying to catch your breath, breathe to the beat. When I exhale at the end of the beat, letting all of the air out of my abs, I find myself being able to endure much longer than when I breathe normally. And by normal I mean without control. Controlling my breathing was the difference between doing twenty minutes yesterday and thirty minutes today.

Before TWD Comes On…

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I just have to say I’m excited to be participating in Blogging U this year. I feel like I’m going back to school LOL. This will give me the chance to produce at least one post a day while sharpening my writing skills simultaneously. I am also looking forward to meeting new bloggers via The Commons.

So here’s how the postings will go: I will be taking the Writing 101 course for the next four weeks. That said, I will produce at least one post a day that will have something to do with our theme for the day in addition to my regular postings throughout the week (so my Writers Quote Wednesdays and other regular posts will still go out). I’m not sure if the prompts go out on weekends but I will continue to have Saturdays off so you can expect no postings on the prompt then. Otherwise, I will continue to annoy* your emails with my many random postings in addition to whatever blogging prompt we are given from Writing 101! OK, that exclamation mark was really unnecessary, I’m not that excited. It’s just that, well, The Walking Dead is about to come on.

*Note: Seriously, I hope I’m not that annoying, but if I am, always remember that you control how many emails, if any, you receive from blogs you follow. Just adjust your settings to where they accompany your toleration levels.

Update: 25 Minutes a Day – Reward Yourself

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Sooo….

Awhile ago I published a post about taking 25minutes out of your day to exercise. You can walk, run, swim, or move your leg back and forth. You can carry the baby around or substitute chores that require electronics (like the washing machine) by doing them by hand. I also mentioned that I will do more posts on updates and such. So here’s what I did today:

  • Sean T25: Alpha Cardio (includes, sprints, jumping jacks, etch.)
  • Breakfast (after workout): 1 Banana, Strawberry Parfait Smoothie, Water (I’m not a very big breakfast eater which I heard is bad but whatever lol).

What I want to do today is talk about rewarding yourself and using that as a catalyst to workout more. The hardest part of any workout, at least for me, is not starting, but starting back up again after you have already started. I took a two week hiatus and today was my first day back (it was supposed to be yesterday). Once you get it going it’s good but when you stop that’s the struggle. But while shopping for food I discovered a fun way to both discipline and reward yourself to help stay motivated. Get yourself a healthy treat and restrict yourself from eating it until AFTER you workout. If you cheat on yourself, POST ABOUT IT. Let the world know you messed up so you can get that encouragement from your peers for next time. We often look at mistakes as a bad thing and are told to keep our faults hidden, but the truth is that exposing the negative gives way to the positive. The struggles we have are hard to change because we have not admitted to the problem, we have not exposed the issue so it remains an issue. As the old folk say, “Tell the truth, shame the devil.” So my admittance is that I stopped working out for about two weeks, and my treat of choice was the parfait smoothie. As soon as I bought it (since I happen to love smoothies) I wanted to devour it! I kept going to the refrigerator to look at it and it was just calling my name. BUT, I told myself that I couldn’t drink it until AFTER I worked out. So as a punishment, since I didn’t workout yesterday I couldn’t drink it. Instead, I held out until today after my workout and it was sooo good! This was my treat for having stuck to what I said I would do and to admitting where I faulted.

25 Minutes a Day

I’m excited to report that I have begun work on achieving one of my long overdue goals: Exercising. I’m just so excited because I’ve wanted to get back into the swing of things since Billy Blanks and I fell out. This time however, I decided to take it up a level and try my hand at Sean T25. I’m on Week #2, Day 4 and so far so good. But instead of 6 days a week I have limited myself to no more than four. Here’s why I think you should too:

For those of you who really wanna get back into an exercise routine, be realistic about your goals. Implement something you know you can dedicate yourself to and most importantly, incorporate into your everyday life. My mind says to go the full six days, but I know the chance of keeping up with that kind of schedule is slim to none. This time around, I don’t want to just stop after a few weeks, but I would like to make this a daily part of my life. To do this, I have to set goals that are realistic and reachable. Just like in life, an exercise routine can have short term goals and long term goals. For instance: My short term goal is to work out at least 3-4 times a week. My long term goal is to strengthen my heart, endurance, tone up my stomach and maintain a certain body weight; though I’m not so much bent on that part so much as strengthening my breathing. A lot of people think exercise is just for those who are overweight but the truth is that thin people are likely a lot more unhealthy than their big boned brothers and sisters because they think they don’t have to do anything. But it’s not about being skinny vs. being fat, it’s about building strength so that you’re not out of breath after walking a block or up a flight of stairs; this is not characteristic of a healthy heart.

So, here’s my idea for those who would like to get back in the gym, and get back in shape:

25 Minutes a Day

Set aside 25 minutes a day dedicated to exercise. It doesn’t have to be to a workout video or gym even, but you can walk, you can run, or you can move your leg back and forth. Whatever you do, try to give yourself at least 25 minutes a day for a certain number of days. Last week I did 25 minutes for three days, this week I am trying for four. Each week, try to challenge yourself to do a little bit more.

Keep a Success Journal

You’ve seen my re-blog of an idea Timothy Pike had on keeping a success journal. This doesn’t have to be restricted to life, but get one for your workout plan. Every day, record what you did and what you ate. This will push you to achieve those short term goals because you’ll be so excited to write something down. Remember: short term goals are the baby steps to long term goals. So whether you want to lose weight or just tone up, you have to start by taking steps to achieve those short term workout goals.

Substitute

Another idea for those looking to implement more exercise into the day is to substitute some things you normally do so that they become little exercises! For instance:

instead of sit down at the computer, stand.
• instead of drive to the store, walk (instead of push the stroller, carry the baby a few blocks!)
instead of use the washing machine, wash on your hands.

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Now, for that last bullet point, in addition to the washboard, here’s a fun way to get your arms going: Using a plunger and a bucket, fill it with water, detergent, and some light clothing, like socks, underwear or washcloths (it also helps to drill holes at the bottom of the plunger around the base and to use a bucket that has a top to it for suction. Also make sure the bucket is deep enough). And…plunge! Switch it around, move your arms up and down, swirl it, just plunge. Here, you become the washing machine. You’ll get some workout in and your clothes clean at the same time.

Your Own Pace

Whatever you do, stay focused on your own pace. The key here is not faster; it’s longer. If your using a workout video and you feel like you’re about to pass out it’s OK to slow down, just don’t stop. Keep going through to the end even if you have to walk in place. Just keep moving. That’s what I think we miss when it comes to working out. Everyone wants to focus so much on weight loss and fast results that we forget to pace ourselves. Of course, you’ll eventually have to challenge yourself to that next level as you gain momentum and get stronger. But also remember that the victory does not belong to the fastest or the skinniest, it belongs to those who endure to the end.

• Map out your daily routine for the week (Be realistic, what are you going to really  dedicate yourself to?)
• Do the routine for at least 25 minutes a day
• Chart your progress, feelings, changes, foods, etch in a success journal (or your blog!)
• Substitute daily task so that they work some kind of muscle
• Slow down, keep moving, just don’t stop

To help us to motivate each other, I will start doing more posts like this to update you all on my experiences and you can too. In this way, we can help each other with fun ideas. Teamwork makes the dream work!