Thursday, 7 May 2020

Hlífrún Book Release Schedule


Remember that project I was working on back in Camp NaNo last year?
I'm publishing it next month.



These reveals will be made over social media:
as well as static posts on my author website 
so keep your eyes peeled!

Patreon will get access to more (especially art week)
and it'll come earlier than the rest of the world, too.



Saturday, 2 May 2020

The ABCs Of Taking Your Fitness Game To New Levels



   There's nothing worse than dedicating your life to fitness only to see minor results. While you're already in OK shape, prolonged stagnation has caused a great deal of frustration. Sadly, if you follow the same routines, you will be destined to see the same results.
   Thankfully, building a new and improved fitness regime needn't become the struggle you fear. Focus on the three simple factors below, and success will follow.

Ambition

   The harsh reality is that your stagnation may be due to a lack of ambition. When you fall into the trap of simply “going through the motions”, your progress will remain limited. Simply wanting to get fitter isn't enough. You must sit down and write out your defined goals and time frames.
   Setting minor targets along the way can work wonders for your motivation. Each goal you pass will provide a boost of positivity. Crucially, the heightened focus will allow you to maintain a winning routine. Even when you're on holiday, it's necessary to stay active. Otherwise, you will regress in super quick times. It's the last thing anybody wants or needs.
   Your progress is all that truly matters. However, adding a competitive element by bidding to outperform a friend, relative, or colleague can be very useful. Any tool or technique that changes your mindset for the better must be openly embraced.

Betterment

   If you want to gain better results, you need to perform better. It is that simple. This may take several forms. Perhaps the easiest approach is to improve your nutritional habits so that your body is fuelled in the right way. This means staying hydrated while also consuming healthy whole foods. Measuring the macros does require a little extra effort, but it'll help you gain far better results.
   Improved sleep patterns will also prepare your body for better workouts. You should also take the time to test out different schedules. Changing the time of day or the cycle of which exercises are followed can change everything. Crucially, whether it's increasing the intensity or the duration, you must find ways to push your body harder. When you do, the response will be telling.

Core

   When wanting to take your fitness game to a new level, your goals may focus on your physique. Or they may focus on your personal best in an athletic event, as well as your ability on the court or pitch. Whatever the incentives might be, though, an improved core will provide a serious boost.
   Learn to transform your body with yoga to unlock benefits in daily life and sporting activities. Upgrade your strength, flexibility, and balance. Results can be seen in a matter of weeks while it should lead to greater success in the gym and other places. A number of professional athletes swear by yoga. Do not let their advice go unnoticed.
   A stronger core can be supported by exercises geared towards your preferred sport or targets in the gym. When you find the winning combination, there's no doubt that your future fitness will look better than ever. A lot of hard work is needed, but the process could not be simpler.



Thursday, 12 March 2020

How To Combat Stress - Exercising Through a Hard Time

   Life, by definition, is dynamic, both biologically and figuratively. We can be thrown all kinds of curve-balls in life, like losing a job or getting a promotion, having a child or discovering you can't, losing a loved one or getting married. But stress, in all its forms, is the single reliable factor in all of the above, and while that isn't in our power to control, learning how to deal with that stress, on a physiological level, is.
   Cortisol is 'the' stress hormone. It induces fight or flight, but in this world we've made for ourselves, we face it for the silliest (biologically speaking) of reasons we neither have to fight against or flee from. And it's getting our bodies trained up in a way that we can better handle it that will reduce the impact of its effects on us - especially when we face it far more than we ought to, for far less than good reason.
   How?
   Move.
   Exercise is key in a healthy body, and a healthy body can handle hormonal shifts far more easily than an unhealthy one. It also helps to relieve stress with the release of endorphins. And, with the added benefit of putting your body through controlled stress, like exercise and especially strength training - something difficult that you choose to face and will be able to overcome with flying colours - your body will become better adapted to handle more unexpected stress later down the road.
   This article from F. Joe covers some of the easiest ways to combat stress during difficult times.

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   Life is rarely easy, and it’s hardly ever predictable. Sometimes when we feel like things are going well, suddenly, the rug is pulled right out from underneath us, and everything changes. Our finely balanced routines are lost, our mood suffers, and we feel stressed out and emotional. It can be hard just to go on as though nothing has happened. 

   Unfortunately, bad things happen. We lose jobs, a marriage breakdown hits us, we face large, unexpected expenses, or someone that we love becomes ill. There’s not always anything that we can do to prevent these things from happening. But we can do our best to cope with them. 

   One thing that could get you through these kinds of hard times is exercise. Regular exercise doesn’t just keep your body fit and healthy, it can also improve your mood and mental health, boost your confidence, help you to sleep, give you a fresh perspective, and just give you a sense that you are doing something for yourself. Exercise can also give your social life something new, and help you to work through your confused thoughts. It can be a powerful tool when you’ve got a lot going on. Here are some things that you could try.

Workout Early in the Day 


   When your mood is low or you are going through a tough time, it’s easy to start putting things off. You might cancel social engagements or even avoid going to work. Exercise is very easy to put off. But, you are more likely to go through with it if you get it out of the way early in the day. Go for an early morning run, practice yoga, or even head to the gym first thing in the morning. Then, it’s done, and you’ll feel better about yourself all day, enjoying the residual adrenaline rush.


Practice Yoga Before Bed

   Sleep is often one of the first things to be affected when we are struggling with something. We lie awake at night worrying, thinking about possible situations, and what we need to do. We struggle to turn off, and then everything is worse the next day because we’re tired.
   Practicing yoga before bed can help to relieve tension and relax your mind. This could help you to fall asleep more easily.


Join a Group or Class

   Exercise can also have a social benefit. It can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Even if you only say hello or smile at people, it can give you a boost. It also gives you an event each week to look forward to, which helps time to pass. Joining a fitness class, sports team, or group can be an excellent idea.


Join an Online Community

   If you find the idea of joining a group intimidating, or it’s otherwise not possible, you can still become part of an online community. Join fitness forums, find health and fitness blogs to follow, and look for accounts on Instagram. Reaching out to people online can be a big help when you are in need of a friend.
[ABE's note: some of my favourite Instagram fitness people - qualified people, not 'influencers' - share science rather than fads and gimmicks, reliable workouts, and the honest truth that a bar of chocolate absolutely will not de-rail you are Ben Carpenter, Katie Crewe and Sohee]