Often times when thinking of being creative, thoughts of painting, sculpting and other elaborate forms of art are our first thoughts. However, what we don’t realize is there’s an opportunity for us to flex our creativity on a daily basis. Although fine arts such as painting and drawing are certainly creative forms, there are many other small ways to be creative – we just have to look for the opportunities. In scientific circles, these little instances of creativity are called “Little C.” This stands for little creative forms that we do every day, such as finding a new route to take home from work, loading the dishwasher differently or simply gardening. The simplest things can help flex that creative muscle. When was the last time your exercised your creativity?
Ruth Richards, psychology professor at Harvard Medical School states, “engaging in creative behaviors make us more dynamic, conscious, non-defensive, observant, collaborative and brave.” By exercising our creative muscle on a daily basis, we can create balance in our lives and create more time for you – allowing you to maximize your potential and productivity.
Top 5 Reasons to Exercise Your Creative Muscle:
1. Reduce Stress:
When we work creatively we calm down and go into an almost meditative state of mind. This creates an immediate reduction in stress levels.
2. Boost Self-Confidence:
For example, studies have shown that when we participate in creative activities with peers, the feedback given to each other builds self-respect by helping to learn to accept criticism and praise from others.
3. Stimulate the brain – make thoughts and feelings more clear:
Researchers at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and the University West in Sweden have found creativity lies at the root of innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and faster brain processing. The findings, highlight the brain’s ability to integrate and process problems and alternative solutions faster if its creative side is more highly developed.
4. Save Money:
By exploring our creative side, we can control/fill the need to impulse buy, as shopping is often a means of something to do.
5. Build Stronger Relationships:
When we are actively creating, we feel better about our relationships. We tend to be more generous to others. We have more to give because we have answered our urge to create.
As we get older, creativity plays a vital role in maintaining a happy and healthier lifestyle. In older adults, engaging in daily creative activities have been proven to…
Reduce the number of visits to a healthcare provider
Reduce the number of medications taken daily
Create a higher morale – more outgoing
Increase social activity – less lonely
Create a higher level of optimism
Ways we self-sabotage our own workouts, without even realizing it…
We all have the best intentions when setting out for the gym or our favorite fitness class; however, you may find yourself plateauing in your wellness goals or not reaping all the benefits of all your hard work.
Below are a few things that may be derailing your workout and how to start maximizing your fitness routines.
Not Warming Up –
By not properly warming up your body, you are not only decreasing the effectiveness of your workout, but you are increasing your chances for injury. Proper warm-ups should include some light stretching and movement of the entire body; specifically the areas you will be focusing your workout on.
Not Eating or Sleeping Enough –
Good, healthy, and nutritious food is our energy source. We can only expend the amount of energy we put into our bodies. Additionally, getting a good night of sleep will not only allow you to tackle your workout with more energy the next day, you will find greater results. In getting a consistent night’s sleep, you are allowing your body to recover from the day’s activities allowing it to reach its natural harmonic state.
Not Training the Entire Body –
When we focus on certain muscle groups, we are often neglecting others. It’s important to keep your body balanced by spending time on all your muscles. By under developing one set of muscle groups, another may be compensating and will cause injury due to overuse. Additionally, under-developed muscle groups can cause limited range of motion – be sure your fitness routine involves exploring your bodies range of motion.
Workouts are Too Long or Too Frequent –
Your body needs time to recover from your workouts. Period. By not allowing your body to reach its natural state and recover from any stress, your body will begin to adapt to your workout routines, showing little to no results. In addition, ensure you are not using the same “routine” as your workout buddy. We all have different body types, bone structures, and muscle development. To prevent any possible injury, ensure to consult with a certified trainer or instructor to ensure proper alignment, and workout techniques.
Too Much Texting or Talking –
Are you at the gym to transform your life or make new friends? If you are there to get in shape and change your body, then get to it. Unless that smartphone is playing some great workout jams, stow the phone and get moving! By talking or texting throughout your workout, you are giving your body too many rest intervals that prohibit the increase in heart rate. Stop working out those thumb muscles and start working on you, the text will be there after your workout.