5 Easy Ways To Appreciate Life Every Day

Benjamin J Marshall

Benjamin J Marshall

Take notice of your breathing.

  • This is one thing that almost no one does. Take notice of your breathing. Breathe deeply through your nose, feel the air hit the back of your mouth and fill your lungs. It’s an amazing feeling.
  • Because breathing is a subconscious action, many of us take it for granted; we are not aware we are doing it. Just for one minute, marvel at the physiology and biology which encompasses the simple act of breathing.
  • By doing this, you are not only in control of your body, you are also control of your mind as well. Focusing on breathing allows you time to calm your mind and think about what you are doing.

Drink more water.

  • I guarantee that right now you are thirsty. Think about it. Your mouth feeling thick and it is ever so hard to swallow, you have a slight tightness in the head and you’re feeling hungry? You are not drinking enough water.
  • Drinking more water will improve your mood by relieving dehydration symptoms, head ache, hunger.
  • By incorporating more water in your daily routine, your skin will improve and your muscles will be fuller as it aids with the intake and expulsion of salts and minerals.

Proper posture.

  • If you are sat at a desk now, consider your posture at this moment. Hunched over, shoulders rounded forward, head hanging down?
  • Stop, sit up and into your seat till your bum touches the back. Lean backwards till your upper back hits your chair and then pull your shoulders back. If your chair is too far back, lean forward till you are vertical with your spine. Finally, feel the crown of your head lift up as though someone was pulling you up by a string attached to your crown.
  • Not only will you feel more awake, but you will suffer less from aches and pains brought on from the over stretching of a muscle as it struggles to hold you in a unnatural place.
  • Over time, this will become more natural and your supporting muscles will strengthen.

Smile more.

  • Take notice of your face right now. It will feel heavy with a drag over your eyes. Simply reset your face to a smile. You will feel your eyes widen, allowing more light into them, tension in your forehead will be released, your mouth will be pulled up at the corners and you will instantly be happier.
  • Seeing someone smile tends to make us smile, so by smiling more you will also effect others and how others see you. When people smile and receive a smile back, the basic human need for satisfaction through acceptance is justified, thus relaxing you and causing your mood to improve.
  • What else can I say – smiling makes you happy!

 

Benjamin J Marshall

Look up at the world.

  • Many people become absorbed by the mundane chores of everyday life they fail to realise the world around them. Instead of walking along looking down at the ground or your phone, look at the scenery and surroundings.
  • When you are walking stand tall and look around, take in what is around you. Feel your place in the world and view how busy life is. Appreciate the weather. If it is raining, consider the rain drops the cloud formations or how the wind moves the environment around you.
  • The world is incredible and we are only a small part of it. So look around and realise where you are.

These are my 5 top tips which we can do every day to instantly to feel more self aware, improve our behaviour, productivity and as a result, allow us to appreciate life.

I hope they help you as much as they help me.

Ben

Training Splits: 5 Day Body Break Down

Benjamin J Marshall

I have been asked a lot recently about different gym routines or training splits.

This is something that has to be discovered over time and developed to suit the individual. But the important thing is it has to be tailored to suit your own lifestyle and individual goals. While you can’t just read an exercise routine from a magazine and expect it to work for you, it can be a good way to get a starting idea. There are a number of things to consider when designing your training routine:

What are your goals?

There is no point wanting to look like a fitness model and then jumping on the treadmill for an hour every day. Your training has to match your goals.

What is your time availability?

How many times a week are you going to be able to work out? 3 times? 5 times? 7 times ? If you can only get to the gym 3 times a week then your training schedule will be very different to someone who can go 6-7 times.

You may have to double up body parts and focus more on the basic compound movements rather than isolation and extra exercises – this is fine if this is the case but these are all things you need to figure out.

For the majority of people who are committed to getting into shape, a 5 day split works very well and is very easy to manage in terms of time, but also breaking down body parts.

Below is an example of a 5 day body part split:

  •  Legs
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Arms

You can then put 2 rest days in where best suits you. Some people will want to work out straight through the week and take the weekend off. Others may want to have two days working out, a rest day, then 3 days working out and then a second rest day.

These workouts focus on the big compound movements to start with and then isolation movements to follow.

I am not saying this is the best split for you, I’m not saying these are the only exercises you should do for those work outs. This is just a basic idea of what you could break your body parts down into if you are training 5 times a week.

Have a look and take what you want from this and adapt it to suit you.

Enjoy.

Ben

Day 1 – Legs

Squats – heavy 2 warm up sets 10 reps, 5 working sets. (At least 5 reps more than 8 then up the weight.)

Deadlifts 1 warm up set 5reps,  5 sets of 3-5 heavy 1 drop set of 10 reps

Legs extension 4 sets 10-12 reps

Hamstring curl 4 sets 10 – 12

Calf  raises 5 sets of 20 / failure.

Day 2 – chest

Chest press bench or db 2 warm up sets. 5 sets (upping the weight) 1 drop sets.

Db incline fly 6 sets of 8-12

Dips 5 sets of 12

Cable fly 5 sets of 8-12

Push ups failure

Day 3 – back

Pull up 5 sets of body weight to failure

Row (bent over or db) 4 sets of 8-12

Shrugs Db drop set or barbell 4 sets – 15, last set drop weight 10 reps

Pull down machine 4 sets 10-12 reps

Row machine 4 sets 10 -12

Back fly 4 sets 15

Day 4 – Shoulders

Shoulder press (bar or db) 2 warm up sets 10 reps, 4 working sets 5-10

Lateral raise 4 sets 12- 15 reps strict form

Upright row (bar or smith machine) 4 sets 10 reps

Rear felt raise / rear felt fly (cable or db) 4 sets 10-15 reps / 10- 15 reps

Arnold press 4 sets  12-15 reps

Day 5 – Arms

Triceps skull crushers bar or db 4 sets 5-8

Db Biceps curl seated 4 sets 8-10

Triceps kick back db 4 sets 10-15

Biceps bar curl 4 sets 8-12

Triceps cable push down 4 sets 12-15

Biceps cable curl 4 sets 12-15

A Beginners Guide to Nutrition

Benjamin J Marshall

Benjamin J Marshall

**Edit: I posted this in 2016 before I went vegan in 2017, I have left this up for accountability but I do not promote the use of any animal products for any reason especially in health.

If you really want to change yourself to be healthier you need to change your diet and focus on nutrition. A diet isn’t something you go onto. You’re not on a diet, if you’re ‘on’ a diet you can come ‘off’ it.

Your diet is the selection of foods that you eat every day.

You don’t need to go on a crazy low carb diet or a radical 500k kcal diet. These are short term solutions and these are exactly the kind of diet someone goes “on” to just to then come off and then people end up going back to exactly where they started.

Your diet should be BALANCED this is the most important thing.

You can personalize it however you want. If you want higher fat and low carb or visa versa that is fine as long as you’re keeping everything in balance. Let’s talk about balance – then your meals should be made up of a balance between protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Here’s a simple breakdown of balance and why.

Fats:

Far too many people say that fat is bad for you or even worse that fat will make you fat,

This is simply not true, it is an oversimplification and has sadly impacted on the way in which the general public now view foods. You need fats in your diet to help hormone production and to stay healthy.

Fat does not go to being stored as fat any more than any other food! That is not how nutrition works.

Carbohydrates:

Carbs have also received bad press recently with “low carb” marketing taking over stores. People think that if something is low carb that it will be better for them – this again is not true.

What is a carb? In the most simplistic term a carb is the easiest source of energy for the human body. Be it complex or simple it is still available energy. You need energy to live remember so why have a low carb version if something if you want energy?

Protein:

Proteins are the building blocks of the human body. Some people thank that protein is only needed if you are a body builder but this is simply not the case at all. Protein makes up everything we are, our hair our skin, and of course our muscles. Everyone needs protein to maintain good cellular health and help repair your body. Don’t think protein isn’t important for you because you’re not aiming to put on muscle or if you’re worried about getting huge (protein won’t make you put on muscle magically).

And note that I haven’t said meat here, protein isn’t just meat, protein can be found in a large variety of vegetables and grains, so for you veggies out there don’t neglect protein and make sure you’re getting enough.

So what is a good balance?

You should try to make sure that every meal you have is balanced in the sense you have a good proportion of protein and carbs per meal as well as a smaller proportion of fats as remember these are more calorifically dense. Balance also falls over the whole day not just one meal, there is no advantage of eating little and often compared to a traditional 3 meals a day, as long as you are eating enough calories and a balance of Macro-nutrients then it honestly does not matter.

Ben