5 Ways to Stay Motivated

Motivation can come and go for most people, and it is very important to learn how to stay motivated in times where you need to keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand. There are many ways to train yourself to stay motivated, but today we will be covering five of them.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. Some days you may need a little bit of a break, or you run out of time. You may not get to all of the tasks that you were wanting to. It is important to remember to not be too hard on yourself, the tasks that were unfinished can be finished when you are able to get to them.
  2. Remember your goals. While you are having a hard time staying motivated, a good way to get back on track is to remember your goals. It will help you remember why you need to do these tasks, and will help you want to get them done faster.
  3. Take breaks. It is important to give your mind and body a break at times. It will help you clear your mind, and feel refreshed.
  4. Track your progress. Keep a list of what you need to get done, and check it off as you go. Doing this can help you realize that, even though it may not feel like it, you are getting the tasks done.
  5. Reward yourself. Give yourself a set amount of tasks to complete, then reward yourself in some way. Take a short break, make yourself a snack, or watch a show. This reward system will help keep your motivation up to complete the rest of your tasks.

Doing these five things can help slowly build the motivation you feel as though you have lost back up. It may take a little bit of time to get back to being motivated, but it can be done. Whether your list of tasks is small or large, any of these tips can help you get your tasks done.

Muscle Strains

Muscle strains, or pulled muscles, is a very common form of injury in the United States. It is typically self diagnosed and self treated, but it is still important to know how to help your muscle heal after it is injured.

What is a muscle strain? A muscle strain is when your muscle stretches or tears past the point that it is supposed to be in. The muscle fibers in the muscle can tear, causing excessive pain to the effected area.

What causes strained muscles? Muscle strains can happen anytime, from exercising to walking. If the muscle is fatigued, not warmed up properly before exercise, or too cold, and it is strained or pulled too quickly, it will cause a strain.

What are the symptoms of a muscle strain? Symptoms include:

  • Pain and soreness to the injured muscle area
  • Limited ability to move muscle; stiffness and weakness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Possible muscle spasms

The pain is typically instantaneous, and will continue until the muscle is healed.

How to care for a muscle strain? It is important to make sure and take it easy on the muscle that is affected. Using a heating pad and cold compress can help the swelling go down. R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is a good process to go through to make sure you are covering all of the bases of getting the muscle feeling better;

  • Resting the strained muscle for a couple of days before using it for physical activities helps the muscle heal faster. After a couple of days of rest, start to slowly use and stretch the affected muscle to avoid stiffness and weakness.
  • Icing the affected muscle will help the swelling stay down. After a couple of days, start using a heating pad on the affected area to help bring the blood flow back to the muscle.
  • Compressing the affected muscle will also reduce swelling. Avoid wrapping the area too tightly, so it does not reduce blood flow to the muscle.
  • Elevating the strained muscle above the level of your heart will help the swelling stay down, and it will help the blood flow as well.

If the affected area continues to cause pain or discomfort for longer than a week, has no blood flow, or the ability to move/walk is lost, it is very important that you visit a doctor immediately. Leaving the muscle like that for an extended period of time can cause serious damage. Healing the strained muscle may take a couple of days, but it is best to make sure it is back to good shape before trying to overuse the injured muscle. If you have any other questions on how to care for a strained muscle, consult with your doctor before attempting anything that may further harm the muscle.

Good and Bad Fats in Food

When it comes to fats in food, they are not all bad. They may have a bad reputation, but some fats are good to have in your diet in moderation. It’s important to know which fats are good to be included in your diet, and which fats are best to stay away from.

What are Bad Fats? Saturated and trans fats are harmful for your heart and body when consumed in big portions. They raise the cholesterol in your body to a unsafe level for your heart. Consuming too many bad fats can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. These bad fats should be avoided or rarely eaten.

What are examples of Bad Fats? Saturated and trans fats are solid at room temperature. There are foods that are also cooked in these fats that are not healthy to eat regularly. Some examples would be:

  • Butter
  • Beef or pork fat
  • Shortening
  • High fat dairy foods
  • Lard
  • Fried foods

What are Good Fats? Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered to be more “healthy” fats. These fats, when eaten in moderation, can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving the blood cholesterol levels in the body.

What are examples of Good Fats? Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature. Some foods have omega-3 fatty acids in them, and they are also good fats. Examples of good fats would be:

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Avocados
  • Vegetable oils (olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil)
  • Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans
  • Fish (salmon, trout, sardines)
  • Tofu

Healthy fats are a good part of your diet, but it is important to eat them in moderation. While monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better than saturated and trans fats, they are still high in calories. Substituting the good fats for the bad fats is important if the opportunity is available. Choosing which fats to eat will help your heart stay healthy, and improve your quality of life.