These Unique Exercises Will Get You Ready for Summer

These Unique Exercises Will Get You Ready for Summer

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The weather is heating up, you circled your vacation on your calendar, but your summer body isn’t exactly there yet. We all know the pain of bathing suit season, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore to start getting into shape. These unique exercises are fun and guaranteed to not only help you achieve your fitness goals, but help you mentally and spiritually.

1. Obstacle Course Race

If you’re competitive by nature, try signing up for an obstacle course race such as a Spartan Race or Warrior Dash. A Warrior Dash includes 12 difficult obstacles over its 3.1-mile stretch, while Spartan Races range from 5K distances to marathons and include all sorts of obstacles.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll gain the muscle you want for the summer while you’re scaling walls and running knee-deep in mud.

2. Water Running

Maybe allergies have you down, and running on a treadmill is more your speed. Switch it up by trying out water running on an underwater treadmill. You get the same benefits as running on a normal treadmill, but minimize injury risk thanks to buoyancy.

According to a study by Texas A&M University, participants using an underwater treadmill showed benefits over those who used land treadmills. The underwater group had less soreness, inflammation and body fat, and improved muscle mass and strength performance. Those are good reasons to give it a try.

3. Try a Group Class

Don’t run from the phrase “group class.” Everyone seems to know classes such as Zumba, yoga and cycling. Kick it up a notch and bring some of your friends along to a surf fit class, where people stand, squat and balance on a surfboard. If you love to dance, sweat uncontrollably at a dancing-in-heels class. The options are endless.

4. Rock Climbing

There’s always one adrenaline junkie in the group. If that’s you, pay attention to this option. Rock climbing — indoor or outdoor — works your back, arms and pretty much every other muscle in your body. Each time you climb, you’ll feel stronger and more fit as you tackle higher-graded routes. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people if you join a climbing group.

5. Lift Like a Boss

Lifting — weights or your bodyweight — is an important part of any fitness routine. Resist the urge to slim down by jumping on a treadmill, and instead grab some weights to define different muscle groups.

It doesn’t have to be just boring free weights. This total-body workout incorporates equipment in new and exciting ways. That tire won’t just be something the guys lift — if you try these exercises, you’ll be there flipping it with them.

6. Belly Dancing

Let’s face it, there a lot of women who wish for a flatter stomach come beach time. While you look fabulous in whatever you wear, belly dancing is one way to trim your waist and define your abs before beach season.

This workout engages your core and will make you sweat as you try out each dance style. If you love to be on stage, try to find a group that does stage performances. There are studios around for all different ages and skill levels.

7. Aerial Yoga

Yoga is not only great for your body, but it also reduces stress and increases mindfulness. If you feel stuck in your usual yoga routine, give aerial yoga a try.

Besides the pure wonder you’ll feel at flying high, aerial yoga offers people greater flexibility, better focus and more strengthened muscles than regular yoga. It’s more difficult, too, as you’re trying to balance and do yoga poses while up in the air, so make sure you’re up to the challenge.

Feel Healthy and Confident

Although summer is a great time to get in shape, don’t forget these workouts are about more than just the physical. Exercise boosts your mood, reduces stress and gives you confidence. As you try out new classes, you’ll start to notice differences in how you perceive yourself and the world around you.

Exercise to be a healthier version of you, and give one of these unique workouts a try to mix it up and prepare for summer.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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