Everyone loves the look of a toned muscular back. Not only does it look great, but it is important to build strength in all areas of your body. When you head to the gym, you should include one day of lifts that focus on strengthening the back. If you aren’t sure what to include on that day, here are the three best back workouts for your routine. Choosing Your Workouts Keep some things in mind when deciding what back workouts will be best for you. First, you should structure your workouts to get the maximum benefits of each. It is best to pick compound movements for the beginning of your training since they involve multiple joints, targeting other muscles and using the most energy. Next, you should pick workouts that you enjoy doing. One of the main reasons people build muscles is by staying with a consistent routine. Finding exercises you want to do will excite you to step into the gym on your back workout day. 1. Lat Pulldown The lat pull-down is a great exercise that trains your lats, biceps and traps all in one. This is a great option since it is essentially a reverse pull-up, so if you are a beginner, it can help you build strength to do so in the future. To perform this workout, you will pick an attachment of a wide grip, neutral or single arm attachment. Stand up and grab the attachment while keeping your thighs snug under the pad with your feet flat on the floor. Pull the bar to your chest to at least under your chin. Imagine you are pulling your elbows to the ground for a mind-muscle connection. Repeat the movement for eight to twelve reps. It is best to pick a weight that has you feeling tired with only one of two reps left in your tank once completed. 2. Single Arm Dumbbell Row The single-arm dumbbell row allows you to focus on one side of the back. This means you can lift more weight on each side than if you were doing a barbell row. Since you are allowing yourself to use more weight, you will be able to reach progressive overload quicker and increase the chances of gaining muscle. For this movement, you will hold a dumbbell in one of your hands and bend over, putting the opposite hand and knee on a flat bench. Keep the other foot planted and extend your arm with the dumbbell to the floor. Keep your back neutral and lift the dumbbell back towards the side of your torso. Repeat the movement for the desired amount of reps. This workout is best towards the middle or end of your lift. Since the dumbbell is working against you, you may notice it is difficult to grip, especially if it is a higher weight. Using grips is a great idea to help you increase your weight or hold onto the weight better. 3. Seated Cable Row Cables are excellent since they keep consistent tension on your muscles each rep. Sit on the pad with your feet shoulder-width apart. Use the “V” attachment and lean back with your arms fully extended in front of you. Pull the attachment toward your belly button and control the movement back to the starting position. It is best to add this exercise near the end of your back day and use a higher rep range. Focus on the range of motion instead of weight for this exercise. Takeaway Like any muscle group, building strength takes time. You will notice a change in a couple of months with the right workouts and hard work.
If you live near the water, odds are you’ve thought at least once about trying out a canoe. The people who paddle regularly make the activity look so graceful and effortless. What you may not know is how good canoeing can be for your overall physical and mental health. You can start this active hobby easily with a boat, paddles and a life vest — you can even rent the equipment at first to minimize your initial investment. Practice alone for a peaceful workout or join in with a friend or two and make it a social event. No matter how you get started, slow or fast, alone or with a friend, you stand to gain many health benefits from canoeing. 1. Better Cardiovascular Health Canoeing is primarily an aerobic activity, meaning it works your lungs and heart with extended physical exertion. While working on this hobby, your cardiovascular system must work harder to pump blood and oxygen to keep up with the increased and prolonged demand on your body. With continued cardio exercise, your heart and lungs will naturally grow stronger and healthier. 2. Increased Upper Body Strength Most of the power required to paddle your canoe comes from your arms, back and shoulders. Consistent use of these muscles will increase their strength over time. As you continue this hobby, you'll find you can row for longer in harsher conditions without as much muscle fatigue. 3. More Stable Core Another essential muscular component for canoeing is a strong and stable core. The muscles all along your torso help you twist to paddle and help you keep the canoe from tipping as you navigate the water. Your core health will improve as you hold good posture and use your core to stabilize yourself. 4. Improved Joint Mobility Activities like weight lifting and jogging can be harsh on delicate joints. Canoeing is a low-impact exercise, so it doesn’t use jerky movements or repetitive impact with hard surfaces. If you already struggle with joint health, an activity like this can be a good entry back into an active lifestyle. And for anyone, it's an easy way to work on your joints’ flexibility and strength. 5. Significant Calorie Burn Even though canoeing is easy on your joints, it’s tough on fat. This fairly simple and straightforward exercise can lead to a significant calorie burn. Since paddling combines the perks of cardio and strength workouts, you’ll benefit from two types of fat-burning potential. As in a walk or jog, you’ll burn immediate calories by increasing your heart rate for prolonged periods. At the same time, the muscle-building portion allows you to continue burning calories long after as your muscles repair themselves. 6. Lowered Stress Finally, simply spending time out in nature can be therapeutic. The sun on your skin, the cool water flowing by and the rhythm of your paddle going up and down can lull anyone into a calmer, brighter mood. It melts away your stresses and encourages mindfulness. You’ll leave the water feeling much better than when you entered — guaranteed. Make Canoeing Part of an Active Lifestyle While canoeing is a fantastic activity with a myriad of health benefits, you shouldn’t focus all your energy on it. The problem you’ll run into is a disproportionate focus on your core and upper body. You need your legs a bit for canoeing, but far less than every other part of your body. Instead, make canoeing just one part of an overall active lifestyle. Add peaceful nature walks to spare your joints or strengthening exercises to boost muscle.
It’s official: You’re newly engaged and preparing for the big day. But what’s this about pre-marriage counseling everyone is talking about? You might have even heard it’s an essential step to getting married. What is premarital counseling, and what do you talk about in these sessions? Do you need to go to couples therapy before getting married? We’re here to answer your questions. In this article, you’ll learn what pre-marriage counseling is and what you’ll talk about during a session, plus some of its unique advantages for new and established couples. What Is Pre-Marriage Counseling? Premarital counseling is a type of couples therapy that occurs before marriage. Usually, couples visit with a counselor five to 10 times once per week before the big day. However, it’s up to you how long you’d like to partake in premarital counseling sessions! The primary goal of pre-marriage counseling is to prepare couples for marriage, including addressing the challenges they might face. Other key goals of pre-marriage counseling include helping you and your partner: Develop a deeper understanding of one another.Learn healthy ways of communicating and resolving conflicts.Create a plan for your future as a married couple.Address any worries, fears or questions about marriage. What Topics Will You Discuss in Premarital Counseling? You might have already imagined what your marriage will look like. But rather than assuming what your partner thinks, feels or desires, it’s best to get it all out on the table. The earlier you can discuss marriage-critical topics, the better! Why? Addressing your stance on essential issues helps you prepare for, address and resolve potential differences or disagreements. Common pre-marriage counseling topics include: Religious beliefsValuesMoneyExpectationsFamily relationshipsChildrenSex and intimacyCareers However, like with any type of counseling, you and your partner are free to talk about whatever you want — or don’t want — with your marriage counselor! Just remember that asking as many questions and addressing as many topics as possible before getting married is best. You’ll want to know where your partner stands on the big issues. For example, you don’t want to find out your partner isn’t willing to move to the East Coast when you get that job you’ve always wanted. Preparing for marital challenges like these in pre-marriage counseling will give you and your future spouse the tools and skills necessary to navigate life’s unexpected problems or opportunities. What Can I Expect From a Premarital Counseling Session? Though your experience will depend on your counselor or therapist, you might anticipate the following: An initial assessment: Your therapist might have you fill out a questionnaire to get to know you as individuals and learn more about your expectations for marriage.A “get to know you” session: The initial visit will likely be a “get to know you” session, where your counselor will take the time to get familiar with you as individuals and as a couple.Discussion of important issues: After the first two steps, you’ll discuss the essential issues outlined above so you and your partner can get to know one another better and develop new communication and conflict resolution skills. The Benefits of Couples Counseling Before Marriage For couples interested in deepening and strengthening their bond, pre-marriage counseling is an excellent way to prepare for marriage. Couples who share similar values — or are committed to compromise and conflict resolution — and know how to communicate constructively will better grapple with challenges. Some specific benefits of premarital counseling include: Better communication, conflict resolution and decision-making skills.A deeper understanding of your partner’s thoughts, feelings and desires.Intimate knowledge of your and your partner’s marriage expectations. Choose Couples Counseling to Improve Your Partnership Is premarital counseling the next step for you and your fiancé? Whether your relationship is brand new or you’ve been in a committed partnership for years, there’s always something new to learn about the person you love in couples therapy. Overall, premarital counseling is an excellent way to deepen your relationship, develop healthy communication habits and establish a firm foundation to build upon as your relationship grows.
Are you interested in creating a mood board but don’t know where to start? Online tools like Canva are excellent ways to engage your creativity while making impressive mood boards that inspire you to achieve your goals. The platform is easy to understand and provides many user-friendly features you can enjoy. Read on to learn how to make a mood board on Canva. Why Make a Mood Board? Mood boards can help you visually communicate the thoughts and ideas that go into setting your personal and professional goals. You can create mood boards for work projects, clients, personal goals, and other aspirations. Showcasing your vision with a mood board provides a tangible way for you to feel inspired and motivate yourself. Why Use Canva? While physical mood boards are great, creating digital ones can save time and offer even more options for the elements you include. You can use Canva to tailor your project to your tastes and make edits whenever your vision changes. Canva is an online design and publishing tool that helps people create various digital projects, including: Mood boardsInfographicsPresentationsFlyersBusiness cardsCollagesBannersResumes The website provides hundreds of templates, fonts, photos, stickers, and more to help you create the perfect mood board for your needs. 5 Steps for Creating Mood Boards on Canva Creating digital mood boards with Canva is easy. Whether you’ve used the platform before or want to try it out, here are five steps for crafting your first mood board: 1. Create a Canva account Ensure you can save and keep track of your mood boards by creating a Canva account. While you can complete projects on Canva without signing in, having an account allows you to save your progress if you need more time to work on a project after stepping away for a bit. You can also come back to the file if you want to edit, add, or remove elements later. 2. Browse templates Once you have an account, you can open the workspace and search for mood board templates. Canva has many free templates with diverse arrangements, so you can find ones that best suit your interests and needs. After choosing a template, you can edit them to match your style. If you don’t see a template you like, you can also make your own design using the blank canvas and elements. 3. Find and upload elements After choosing your template or making your own outline, you can start finding the elements and photos you want to include in your mood board. The workspace has a library full of many features, from graphics, pictures, and lines to shapes, stickers, and videos you can use, but you can also upload images you find or already have. There are also many text options. You can use premade font combinations or create unique ones. 4. Customize your mood board Once you choose all the elements you want to include, you can build and customize your board. Insert and layer your photos, resize shapes, duplicate graphics, and more. Your mood board will embody your creativity while helping you visualize your ideas. 5. Save and share When you finish your mood board, you can save and download it as a JPG or PNG. You could also print it out to enjoy a physical version. Having options to save, download, and print your Canva mood boards makes it easy to prepare for work projects. You can send the file to your client and have them make comments or even meet in person to discuss your vision. Create Your First Mood Board on Canva Canva is an excellent tool for making mood boards, and you can make one as soon as you create an account. Get started on yours!
Forgiveness can be difficult, especially when someone you love and care about hurts you. There are many benefits to forgiveness that support your physical and mental well-being. When you forgive, it promotes a happier and healthier state in life. Here is how to forgive someone who hurt you. 1. Decide You Want to Forgive One of the more challenging parts of forgiving is getting to the point where you are ready to forgive. You may want to hold on to a grudge that you have forever and continue to feel the way you do towards someone. Emotional forgiveness can be harder since memories can trigger how you feel during a situation. Sometimes forgiveness can come on its own through time. You may realize that one day you are not angry or hurt about a situation anymore. Although this day will come, a proactive approach is to decide it is time to forgive. You will be on the road to recovery quicker by choosing to forgive. 2. Take Your Time You may expect it to happen instantly when you finally decide to forgive. Just because you decide to forgive doesn’t mean your emotions will disappear immediately after. Choosing to forgive is only the first step. You should lower your expectations for feeling like everything is entirely back to normal. This applies to the forgiveness process and the decision to forgive. If you just recently had an argument, you want to take your time with the process. It may take time to sort your thoughts and feelings, but forgiveness will come at the right moment. 3. Forgive for You Forgiveness should not be done for the person that hurt you but something you do for yourself. The emotional damage can cause stress and anxiety to you over time. Letting go of an issue can help you feel better, along with forgiving a person that deserves it. You don’t want to apologize and forgive when you aren’t ready since it may not feel like you actually meant it. When you forgive too quickly, the insincerity can hurt worse than the original damage done. Real heartfelt forgiveness allows the emotions to be released instead of pent-up anger from a forced apology. 4. Empathize With Who Hurt You When someone hurts you, you immediately think negatively about them. You may ask yourself how they could do something like that or if they even care about your feelings. You can put yourself in the other person's shoes and see where their actions came from. This does not mean you justify their behavior, but it is a tool to get on the road to forgiving. This practice can protect your feelings from getting hurt, depending on the situation. 5. Talk Out Your Feelings Once the time is right, talking or writing out your feelings can help. You can talk to friends or loved ones about the situation to see if they have any insight or just need someone to listen. Your feelings are connected to your behavior so holding onto what hurt can have you acting in undesirable ways. Sitting down with a pen and paper can be therapeutic if you choose to write your feelings. You can freely express your thoughts and feelings without saying them to another person. Whatever you write is strictly for you and you can do with the note whatever you want. Forgiveness is Key to Healing When learning how to forgive someone who hurt you, you are being kind to yourself. It is a way to eliminate stressors since holding on is not healthy for you mentally and emotionally. You may need to work on forgiving, but with time you will learn to on to better things.
When a friend or family member suffers from depression, it is difficult to see. You want to do anything you can to help them and let them know they are not alone. Around 280 million people in the world suffer from depression. The symptoms can vary, but when you notice the signs, you can take action to do your part. Here is how to help someone with depression. Common Symptoms Depression looks different for everyone and symptoms can vary. You can look for combinations of these things since most people have more than one symptom. Certain ones may be more noticeable than others. Here are some signs you can look out for: Pessimistic and less hopeful for the future Seem sad and express feelings of guilt and worthlessness Unusually irritable Seem less interested in spending time and communicate less Have less energy Neglect basic hygiene like showering Sleep too much or not enough Eat more or less than usual Less interest in activities they love Talk about death or suicide How to Help Someone with Depression Whether your gestures are big or small, trying to help someone with their depression will not go unnoticed. A lot of the time, having someone supporting them is one of the main reasons they want to work to get themselves out of it. These are some things you can do to support someone with depression. Help Them Find Support Your loved one may not even realize that they are struggling with depression and don’t know what to do about it. Suggesting professional help, like going to a therapist, may sound intimidating, but it could make a big difference. You can help them sort through the potential therapists and encourage them to reach out to make the appointment. Even before the first session, you can help them with what they want to discuss with the therapist. What You Can Say It can be hard to figure out what to say to someone struggling with depression. You will want to use positive and supportive language instead of things that can potentially make your loved one feel worse. Phrases like “everyone goes through hard times” and “try to look on the bright side” can cause people with depression to feel like what they are feeling is not valid and continue to live the way they are. When you feel like you are at a loss for words but want to be supportive, here are some things you can say to comfort your loved one with depression. “You are not alone and I am here during this difficult time.” “Although it is hard to believe, these feelings will change.” “Even though I don’t understand how you feel, I am here and want to help.” Offer to Help with Daily Tasks When someone is struggling with depression, everyday tasks can be a challenge. Whether it is laundry, groceries or doing dishes, these tasks can be overwhelming and leave your loved one not knowing where to start. If you notice things around the house seem unorganized or like no food is in the house, offer to go grocery shopping with them or help pickup around the house. Minor help with tasks can make them more manageable to do. The Main Takeaway Dealing with depression makes every day difficult. No matter the severity, it makes life more challenging for someone. Having a support system will help your loved ones navigate this time in life even when it feels like you aren’t doing much.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought fear, uncertainty, and overwhelming anxiety to many people. Everyone was in a similar boat, often staying home and hunkering down during this unprecedented time. While some people found solace in their religion, others sought other forms of spirituality and healing in alternative medicine, such as the healing powers of crystals. Crystals and the Placebo Effect: Do They Really Work for Healing? Crystals have been used for centuries and they grew increasingly popular during the pandemic. Some people use crystals for protection or believe they are best for healing sickness and removing blockages. While no scientific research proves that crystals provide healing, there is undeniable power in the placebo effect. Believing in something gives you hope, especially in times of uncertainty. Where you find comfort is your prerogative, whether or not science backs it up. When you believe in what you’re doing, the placebo effect kicks in, which at least has a mental effect. Remaining positive and hopeful has proven beneficial on numerous healing and treatment journeys. Your mind is a powerful asset you can use to empower and facilitate healing. Giving yourself emotional and physical support during difficult times can improve your overall health, and for many people that might involve crystals. Know that it’s OK to feel whatever emotions you’re experiencing and give yourself grace as you find what works for you. What are the Best Crystals for Healing Sickness? For some people, crystals relieve stress, promote calmness, and ease tension. You can hold crystals while you meditate, wear them on your clothing or jewelry, or set them around your home to reap their benefits. Here are some common crystals known for their healing properties. Amethyst Amethyst is an excellent gem for healing and balance. Amethyst can boost your immune system and relieve anxiety and stress. It can also help with insomnia, promoting peace and tranquility that can help you get a good night’s sleep. Celestite Celestite may help clear your body of toxins and infections. Since it is a cleansing crystal, many use celestite to treat ear and eye infections. It can help with digestion and pain and works with your third eye chakra to ground you and help you find your center. Pyrite Pyrite is a protection crystal that people use to shield themselves from toxins and negative energy. It can purify your body and release toxins from viruses. Pyrite uses energy vibrations to facilitate optimal mental and physical health. What are the Best Crystals for Removing Blockages? Some crystals promote self-love, and others are known for removing blockages. Taking care of your mental health is more essential than ever during this unprecedented time. Here are some crystals you can use to facilitate the flow of energy. Aquamarine Asthma, allergies and sinus infections likely occur when you don’t get enough fresh air or have pets in your home. Aquamarine works to alleviate symptoms and fight infections with its soothing properties. Black Onyx Black onyx is a grounding stone that can help combat negative energy and remove blockages. This stone works as a mirror that delves deep into your psyche to face your inner blockages so you can release them. This stone promotes calmness and helps you control and regulate your emotions, which can help you adapt to a new environment and sense of normalcy. Clear Quartz Clear quartz is known for opening blocked chakras and magnifying positive energy. It’s a healing crystal that can clear congestion and help energy flow freely throughout your body. Many people use this stone for healing from viral infections and common colds. Why Is There a Need for Alternative Healing Methods? During the pandemic, many people were isolated. Limiting contact with others is challenging, especially for those seeking healing or medication they can’t receive at home. For example, patients who rely on prescription medications to treat substance use disorder faced challenges. While a few states could provide 14-28 days of methadone to stable patients to limit the spread of the virus, this option was inaccessible to some and other people were afraid to leave their homes for fear of contracting the virus, making them more susceptible to relapse. Adhering to social distancing guidelines made typical stress-relief practices less available, as going to the gym and even running outside posed risks. No wonder people felt increasingly anxious and depressed. During this time, people often gravitated toward anything that could ease their worries in an attempt to feel some semblance of normalcy — such as crystals and other healing methods such as at-home aquatic therapy and herbal medicines. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices can ease your mind, align your chakras and help you feel grounded, which were major priorities for many people during the pandemic. Why Do We Need Healing Crystals During the Pandemic? Crystals cannot cure a disease, but they do have the power to make you feel better. Ensure you seek treatment for symptoms and don’t rely on alternative methods to treat an illness. Although there isn’t scientific evidence to support the healing properties crystals possess, that doesn’t mean they won’t work for you.
There are many variations of the deadlift. The conventional deadlift vs the Romanian deadlift (RDL) is the two most common variations. Both of these options involve similar muscles but depend on the technique. More activation can be targeted in some regions of the legs. No matter what choice you make, performing these exercises correctly will maximize your strength gains. Deadlift vs. Romanian Deadlift: What is the Difference? There are some key differences between the deadlift and RDL. The difference between the two is that the deadlift starts on the floor and the RDL starts from the standing position. The deadlift's range of motion is concentric, which is an upward motion and the RDL is eccentric, which is a downward motion. You will want to focus on pushing the floor away while deadlifting but pull the hips through while RDLing. The form differs since the shoulders should be way farther in front of the bar for RDLs compared to slightly over it for deadlifts. Both exercises involve hinging at the hips, although the deadlift relies on both the knees and hips, while the RDL's entire range of motion is from the hips. You may want to choose a variation depending on your goals. The deadlift involves more quad activation over the RDL and targets more glutes and hamstrings. What are the Benefits of The Deadlift? Whether you’re an athlete or enjoy training for your health, building muscle and strength is important in life. Some benefits of the deadlift include building muscle and strength in the hips, thighs and back, improving body awareness, coordination and balance and increasing and preventing a decline in bone mineral density. A significant benefit of the deadlift is that it is a compound movement. It targets many muscles in the body, but the quad is the primary muscle group that is recruited more in the deadlift than in the RDL. Here are all the muscles used in the deadlift. Quads Glutes Adductor Hamstrings Erectors Lats Traps Rhomboids Abdominal What are the Benefits of The RDL? The RDL is another compound movement with excellent benefits similar to the deadlift. It includes glute and hamstring hypertrophy, increased hip extension strength and an easy method to progress from. The muscles used are similar to the ones already listed from deadlifts. However, the glutes and hamstrings are activated to a more significant extent. Depending on your goals, you can choose which variations suit you best. Which Lift Is Right For You? The RDL may be a better option if you start to train. The main reason is that it introduces you to the idea of deadlifting. It is essential to master the hip hinge movement before jumping into a deadlift. It can cause serious problems such as back injuries and more if not properly learned. The RDL can usually start with lighter loads compared to the deadlift. This is a more beginner-friendly workout and can build the lower back and hips. At the end of the day, each lift will fit very well into a routine. It is best to consider the benefits and disadvantages of each to fit into your fitness routine, What's the Difference Between a Deadlift and a Romanian Deadlift? Besides the conventional deadlift and RDL, there are many variations you can try out. One may suit you better due to your body limitations and strength training goals. No matter what they are, choose which one you will enjoy progressing in the gym.