YOU HAVE NIGHTMARES? DREAMS CAN REVEAL SYMPTOMS OF DISEASES YEARS BEFORE THE DISEASE TAKES PLACE

Our subconsciousness knows everything- warning dreams could occur ten years before the first symptoms of a disease, according to Dr. Oscroft from Cambridge. Psychologists agree that dream messages shouldn’t be neglected as they can help you reveal the symptoms of certain diseases.
For example, symbols from dreams could indicate tuberculosis, depression, or heart attack. Moreover, they could point out to risk of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Weak heart and nightmares
If you frequently have nightmares, this could indicate possible issues with the heart, migraines, or lack of sleep. Unpleasant dreams could be also a consequence of blood pressure medicines, according to Jim Horne, dream expert.
It’s believed that these medications spread the veins, and experts believe that they can change the balance of specific chemicals in the brain indirectly, thus, triggering nightmares. Bad dreams could be associated with a weak heart, according to a research done with more than 6000 participants.
Migraine comes with rage
Scientists have concluded that people who suffer from an irregular heartbeat have three times higher risk of dreaming nightmares, whereas those who feel constant chest pain have seven times higher risk of nightmares. It’s also believed that people who have heart problems, experience breathing problems as well, due to which the level of oxygen in the brain decreases.
Nightmares and dreams full of anger, rage, and aggression, could be warning signs of migraines. Dreams in which you’re chased, attacked, etc. may be early signs of brain diseases or neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Warning dreams could occur even 10 years before the first actual symptoms of the disease-memory loss, according to Dr. Oscroft from Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. Namely, people who regularly have dreams in which they’re being chased or attacked, suffer from behavior disorder in the REM phase. An acute form of this disorder can occur during alcohol withdrawal, i.e. when a person is taking sedative-hypnotic medications.
According to a neurologist from Boston University School of Medicine, bizarre, unforgettable dreams may be potential signs of an infection or the beginning of menopause. Hence, infections are known to cause half-wake state-the trigger for bizarre dreams. Additionally, another trigger for such lively dreams that usually occur in the morning period is late night alcohol consumption. They occur in this period as the effect from the alcohol begins to fade, thus, influencing the chemicals in the brain which leads to weird dreams.
Dreams in menopause
According to the testimonies of numerous women, lively dreams are typical for menopause and it is believed that they’re a consequence of the hormone fluctuation. Although during the REM phase we spend from 4 to 6 dreaming episodes, we don’t remember most of them. Hence, from the 28 to 42 dreams we dream in a week, we remember only two or three of them. This isn’t because we’re chronically forgetful when it comes to dreams, but because we can only remember a dream if we wake up during dreaming.
image credits: Daily Health Gen
When a dream has ended, but you’re still sleeping, you won’t remember it. It is presumed that women remember their dreams more than men as they tend to sleep lighter, i.e. they wake up easily.
Time to slow down
When a person is dreaming more than they usually do, it may be a consequence of chronic ache, antidepressants withdrawal, or because it’s simply too warm or too cold in your bedroom. These conditions disrupt the dream and cause frequent waking up during the REM phase, due to which you remember more dreams, i.e. you believe that you’re dreaming more than usually.
According to professor Horne, if you’re woken up at night or early in the morning, you could be suffering from depression, that is, you could be under a lot of stress lately or you might have gained weight. Fatty foods can also be the reason for such dreams. What’s more, people who are much stressed or suffer from depression enter the REM phase earlier, and they ‘walk’ through their dreams earlier, and thus, wake up earlier.
Dreaming during pregnancy
A lot of mothers claim that they dreamed more lively and disturbing dreams during their pregnancy.
Signs of stress
Stress is often manifested through catastrophic and panic dreams. For example, you might be dreaming big waves coming your way or that you’re being late for your flight.
source and courtesy: Yourstylishlife

What Your Hands Reveal About Your Personality

If you’ve ever heard of Palmistry, I’m sure you’ve looked at the lines on your palm wondering what they say about you.  Palmistry, also known as Chiromancy or ‘cheiromancy’ is practiced all over the world. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called palmists, palm readers, hand readers, or chirologists.


Many doctors and psychologists have investigated the science of Palmistry. Their conclusions have shown that hands have the potential to reveal a person’s character, health and psychological state. You may think you know yourself well enough to know what your hands will reveal about your personality. But, do you really?
Depending on the type of palmistry practiced and the type of reading being performed, palmists may look at different qualities of the hand, including the shapes and lines of the palm and fingers, the color and texture of the skin and fingernails, the relative sizes of the palm and fingers, the prominence of the knuckles, and numerous other attributes of the hands.
There are 4 Elemental Palm types:  Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

Take this short test to find out which type of elemental palm type you have.

Many people underestimate Palmistry and its ability to accurately describe someone’s personality.  Continue reading to discover what the lines on your hand reveal about your personality. Below is a description of each elemental palm types:

Elemental Air Palm Types:

Usually people who are under the influence of the air element have rectangular or square shaped palms with somewhat lengthy fingers attached. Curiously, their palms and fingers are relatively equal when actually measured.
People who are of the air element tend to be some of the most intellectual people that you could ever meet and it’s obvious as they are constantly deep in thought with themselves about the complexities of the world around. They are also some of the best problem solvers to have around if you’re ever facing difficult moments in your life.

Elemental Water Palm Types:

Those who are under the influence of the element of water tend to have long, lithe fingers, as well as sporting an oval shaped palm.  Even though people who relate to the element of water are often some of the most empathetic, as well as highly creative, people you could ever meet, they also come with their fair share of faults.
Since they are so understanding of emotions and are able to pick up on whatever feelings others are exuding, their compassion, love, and natural ability to get along with just about anyone makes them vulnerable sometimes to the people around them. Depending on who they are with, they can be your greatest asset in times of despair

Elemental Earth Palm Types:

People who are influenced by the element of earth have somewhat short fingers connected to square-like palms.  People who relate to the element of earth are usually some of the most realistic, practical, and reliable people you could have around.
They also prefer to be in relationships that are going to last a long time compared to short trysts. However, since they are so able to naturally become consumed with whatever it is they are doing at the moment in time, they can demonstrate just how stubborn they can really be.  It’s also important to recognize their unending love for being in nature since that is the closest they can get to being connected to the earth as a whole.

Elemental Fire Palm Types:

Those who are under the influence of the element of fire tend to have longer palms then the other types as well as being rectangular.  Regardless of how lengthy their palm may be, their fingers are rather short compared to the rest of their hand.
If you’ve ever encountered a person who is of the fire element you’d immediately recognize their spirit for adventure, their natural born instincts, and call to action whenever they can answer it. These individuals are some of the most amazing leaders to have around, especially if there is no one else to take the reigns. Their passion for life is relentless as is their temper. Even though they are extremely adventurous they are also some of the most impatient of the other elements.
It’s important that you are able to decipher which kind of element type you belong to, as well as, what your palm type is in relation to these elements. Really look at and study the lines on your hand, find the story that is waiting for you to discover, and let yourself become vulnerable to the potential that could be your future. If you are wondering what your future holds, look no further than your hands!
source and courtesy: dailyvibes.org

11 Quotes To Remember When You’re Overthinking

We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.”~ Anthony Hopkins
The mind loves to think, and it never seems to want to stop. In fact, we overthink so much that many people consider it a worldwide epidemic. Through extensive research, psychology professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema of the University of Michigan found that overthinking occurs mostly in young and middle aged adults, with 73% of 25-35 year-olds identifying as overthinkers. There are also more women (57%) than men (43%) who tend to think too much. 
The mind sometimes resembles a five year old child – it wants to have everything a certain way and never knows how to sit still. If you allow your brain to continuously run a mile a minute without ever interjecting, it will only press on with the madness until you discover that your mind has slowly become a prison. Learning to take time quiet your mind, instead of distracting it, can allow you to have more mental clarity, focus, and give up the toxic habit of overthinking.

11 QUOTES TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU’RE OVERTHINKING

1. You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.
2. Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try!
3. Stop worrying about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right.
4. Overthinking – the art of creating problems that weren’t even there.
5. There is nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts.
6. Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
7. Stop overthinking. You can’t control everything, just let it be.
8. Dear mind, please stop thinking so much at night. I need sleep.

9. Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness.
10. Don’t ruin a new day by thinking about yesterday. Let it go.
11. A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.

HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO STOP OVERTHINKING:

1.  CONNECT WITH NATURE.

If you don’t live or work in nature, than you need this the most. Take time to get out in nature. This could mean going on your lunch break in a nearby park, or going on a vacation to get away. Anything you can do to strengthen your bond with nature will greatly benefit your mind and stop overthinking immediately.
You can focus on the beauty in the trees, a leaf,  a waterfall, the sky, mountains, a lake or whatever you gravitate towards. This will immediately stop your mind.  When you allow yourself to do this, you will find that you will think more clearly throughout the day.

2. REPEAT PEACEFUL WORDS TO YOURSELF.

Pay attention to your brain at this very moment…what kinds of thoughts do you observe? Most likely, you will notice that the majority of your thoughts center around what you have to do today, or what someone said that made you angry, or even degrading thoughts about yourself. Don’t feel bad, though; with so much negativity around us, maintaining a consistent positive mindset isn’t always easy. However, you can actually counter the negative words and over thinking with the repetition of peaceful words.
Anytime you notice you are overthinking or you feel anxiety or worry coming on,  stop those thoughts in their track as soon as you realize it with calming words. Whatever words resonate with you better.
Examples are: Peace. Love. Light. It’s ok. Life is Good. I’m ok.
While this isn’t completely quieting your mind, it does stop overthinking, it will allow your mind to slow down and focus on what really matters in this moment.  Words carry a lot of meaning and power, so use them to your advantage whenever you feel stressed out.

3. MEDITATE.

We suggest meditation a whole lot on our website, but for good reason. When you meditate, you stop the flow of overthinking and negative thoughts bombarding your consciousness every second, and instead move into a space where stillness takes precedence.
While you don’t have to turn off your brain to meditate, many people feel that their thoughts slow down incredibly and overthinking stop immediately.
If you try it and find you still cannot stop thinking, try a guided meditation or yoga. These practices bring awareness into the body, and makes it much easier to cope with daily challenges.
source and courtesy: powerofpositivity.com

Can Spirituality Help You Overcome Depression? This Famous Actor Says Yes

We were all there. Depression.
It’s a mind-prison. It feels like the pessimist narrates your life. And sure as hell that pessimist is really angry, too.
As one who has had his bouts with depression, Jim Carrey reveals how important his spirituality is to his wellbeing.
image credits
Spirituality made him throw of the pills Fluoxetine (Prozac) that treats depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other disorders.
Now he’s a clean man. He also says: “life is too beautiful.”

“I’M A BUDDHIST, I’M A MUSLIM, I’M A CHRISTIAN, I’M WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO BE. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE SAME THING.”

source and courtesy: simplecapacity

8 Qualities Of A Long-Lasting Marriage

There are certain qualities that are vital to any marriage. Sure, you love one another, but each person has to do their part to keep the fire going. And it takes a lot of hard work.
This list contains nothing that you don’t already know, but are all good reminders  married to focus on the things that really matter in a relationship.
Check out the list below and let it be an encouraging reminder to keep it up!

  1. You are open with each other.

    A good relationship is always predicated on communication. If you and your partner can be vulnerable and open with one another -no matter the difficulty of the season- the relationship will always be stronger.
  2. Empathy is everything.

    The ideal partner connects with their spouse on an intellectual, emotional and intuitive level. When all of these things fall in line, you respect one another on a much deeper and more substantial level. The empathy and understanding that comes from this approach is vital to any relationship.
  3. You work at love.

    A good partner knows that love takes work. It isn’t something that just springs out of the ground. A busy life can lend itself to a stagnant relationship… make sure and take the time to work on it!
  4. You practice active listening.

    Active listening means responding to your spouse when they have something to say. It’s more than a simple acknowledgment of what was said… it’s the give and take of conversation that makes all the difference. Feeling truly heard is vital to any relationship.
  5. You're honest.

    Honesty, especially in the little things, makes all the difference in a relationship. A good partner will be honest with you no matter the outcome… honesty is most definitely the best policy.
  6. You value intimacy.

    Every good marriage needs the connection that comes with intimacy. Whether emotional or physical it is the building block of a relationship that will last a lifetime.
  7. You compromise.

    Without a doubt, there will be a decision that you and your spouse come to, that will demand compromise. You will not always agree on everything, and when those moments come the ability to meet in the middle is essential.
  8. Respect their independence, and have your own.

    Maintaining individuality is critical to establishing a long-lasting, healthy relationship. It’s essential that you encourage your partner to chase their dreams and to have your own goals as well. It’s one thing to be devoted to one another, but another to be dependent.

source and courtesy: inspiremore.com

How Meditation & Buddhism Helped Me Through Depression: 4 Simple Methods

As the child of artistic and cultured parents from exotically different backgrounds of Japanese-Buddhist and Russian-Jewish, I naively thought that I had my life somewhat figured out.

At least insofar as the quality of my personal success and happiness via the artistic mind and ethnic blend of East and West.
Weirdly enough, I believed that beauty and peace could be both confined and defined through the enjoyment and study of fine classical masterpieces, intellectualism, philosophy, and even amongst the fringes of all cultural norms.
In my family, by the early age of about six or seven, my siblings and I thought it was normal to read stories by Franz Kafka; to become lost in a film by Japanese Director Akira Kurosawa; to laugh at films of Woody Allen and The Marx Brothers; to spend a Sunday afternoon singing along to Ella Fitzgerald while touring off-the-beaten-path art studios and galleries in the quirky and hungry Los Angeles streets of the 1970’s and eighties.
While being the child of mixed-cultural and mixed-media artists was possibly the most interesting childhood I can think of, it did not necessarily equate to any sort of useful happiness or skill sets that invited a peaceful or light way of life.
On the contrary, I have often felt guilty when I was happy, and somehow more relevant and loveable when suffering. I felt an urgent sense of “just feeling lucky to be alive,” as my parents were both born during The Great Depression and lived through their own individual struggles of racism and albeit different cultural challenges during The Second World War.
My mother experienced discrimination as a Japanese even as her brothers fought for freedom during the war.
They were feared after the bombing attack of Pearl Harbor.
On a recent grey San Francisco afternoon, I loosely thumbed through the dusty library I keep in my garage. Hidden amongst antique silk kimonos and old paint cans I found I passages from some of my favorite writers.
On one shelf were the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and T.S. Eliot; on another, the complete short stories by Somerset Maugham. I found near-original copies of my favorite short books by the one and only Dr. Suess. Hidden under that shelf were stories by Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.
This was what my father called “light reading” when I was a kid.
With all of this knowledge, how could I possibly feel dark and filled with anxious anguish much of the time? What was my own search for meaning, and why did I not have it by this time of my life? Depression can come easily to anyone, no matter how well-educated or well-read. I have discovered as well a neurotic tendency to wallow in depressions’ impulsive, counterproductive and narcissistic behavior.
When defeated, I often think of my Buddhist grandmother who has since passed away into the day and the lightness of being. I remember when she used to offer fruit and incense in the windy and solid afternoons of Hawaiian summers. What I recall most was the freshly ironed floral cotton dresses she wore with that indescribable warm grandma smell.
Though she had a been a hard-working and tireless farmer who was grateful for new linoleum floors that replaced her dirt ones, she always took the time to dot pink lipstick onto her doll-shaped Japanese lips. Her hair, as soft as a thousand cotton balls strewn together, was often swept to the side with a gold bobby pin and a flower.
I spent part of a summer at her farmhouse. One day in July I heard her say Thank You over and over again as she clipped back her overgrown gardenia and plumeria trees and what seemed to be 500 feet of white bent-over lilies.

“Why are you saying ‘Thank You?’ I asked Kona Grandma.
(This is what we called her as her homestead was Kona, Hawaii, a small town that could oversee volcanoes, an ocean that seemed poured out slowly but surely’ by Gods, and the spirit of Hawaiians that cannot be disturbed, only invited in.)
“Because,” she answered, bending down to cradle my face with her small hands.

“Because if you say ‘Thank You’ to everything that is precious, even quietly down into your heart, you will become the beautiful person that you yearn to be.”

Her name was Hatsuyo, which means Affection in Japanese, and she resembled both the light and the dark beauty of everything that stood out from my Asian side of the family.
One morning, probably around 3 am or so, I heard her voice call out to me with messages of serenity and strength. I also saw her image as she sang, There is no reason to suffer endlessly.”
“One suffers only as much as one chooses to,” she hummed lightly. I felt her presence by my bedroom window, as if she were floating eternally between this life and the afterlife.
“Remember,” she cooed, clothed in a dress of silk organza petals, “Peace comes from within, and never without.”
I somehow managed to fall back asleep and woke to the most brilliant of sunsets I can remember since early childhood. I somehow felt sober, lifted, free, weightless, and without any fear at all.
And when I say “sober,” I mean emotionally sober from all of the ghosts that have haunted me all through early adolescence and beyond.
That following Sunday was the first time I believe I became aware of what self-love was. I decided to knowingly bring back that dream-like state through self-guided mediation and prayer. As the child of artists who forgot to take me to either a Jewish or a Japanese Temple, I strangely craved a sentential feeling of spirituality.
By praying and meditating, I felt as if I were somehow committing a taboo act-in a sense, throwing away away all of my hard years of schooling—even cheating on my professional journalistic life—and making a complete fool of myself.
I had been disturbed enough for years with paralyzing fear, unfounded guilt and denial about who I was unless under the vague and severely guided titles of daughter, wife, mother and good girl forever tattooed in gold leaf upon my forehead.
After studying numerous books and teachings on Meditation, Prayer and Buddhism insofar as counterattacking self-destructive thinking and a lifetime of co-dependent and emotionally violent relationships, I learned that intellectual thinking was not enough.
Only through more pain did I discover that my personal and universal-like struggle was also physical. After having my daughters and surviving abusive situations that led to catatonic years of barely living, I knew that I must endure even more challenging times in order to become comfortable with my physical being.
It started first with returning to the light ballet movements that I was forced to leave behind when I was 12 years-old. Yoga also eventually seduced me gently, with its nonjudgmental mantras and non-preaching senses of individuality, community, and ego-less messages.
Five years later, I am so much better off that I barely recognize myself. And this is in a good way, not with any kind of modern ugly notion of female makeover manner that may behoove the Real Housewives or the Kardasashian clan insofar as an overly plumped face and lips that spill out horrible sentences of inane and ungrateful waste.
What I mean is that now, when the sun both sets and rises, I find myself crying in gratitude, replacing all feelings of desperate pain and feelings of hopelessness with sense of calming faith.
And through Meditation, Yoga and Buddhist practices, I have discovered that I am indeed enough at any given moment, which has led me to feel truly free for the very first time.
Today, I no longer feel bound by the enslavement of approval, waiting for either the witching hour or the eve when I may finally gain the favor of even a stranger, because I may be so very desperate for love, that I may actually whore myself right into emotional slavery.
I have carefully thought, prayed and stretched my way towards the following principles that have not only saved my life, but may I say humbly, the lives of my children and friends. I believe and hope that in summary, they will find their way into your sweetest and most innermost spaces of self and communal love.
Allow Yourself to Feel All Emotions
No emotion is wrong.
But when an emotion is ignored and hidden—denied and repressed—true suffering and pain may plant their relentless and steadfast weeds. Even if you must excuse yourself for 30 seconds or for a two-hour walk, or even for a five-hour drive or hike, allow yourself to feel the sobering beauty of pleasure, inertia, as well as  pain. In this way, you will learn more self-acceptance, unconditional self-care and a healing body and mind.
You can begin by accepting what you are feeling at this very moment, and resist trying to make the feeling go away, whatever it is.
Wake and Sleep in Gratitude
When you awake and sleep with intentional thoughts of gratitude, and surrender yourself to Thankful Thoughts before slumber and upon awakening, peace seeps into your physical, spiritual and actualized self. This practice is healing and nourishing to both yourself and to those around you. Just like every habit, begin small and simple.
Day One can begin by simply ‘Thanking The Universe’ for waking and sleeping, and having the opportunity to experience yet another 24 hour cycle on this brilliant and complex earth.
Learn to Breathe
Until recently, I believe that I barely knew how to breathe.
While I was certainly breathing well enough to stay alive, I do not think that I knew how to breathe without feeling anxious or nervous. Through meditation, yoga and prayer, I have discovered that if I take a few steady and slow breaths when I choose or need to, that no one will die.
However, if I do not, I may surely die from stress.
Today, when I find myself wound up and wounded by life’s battles, I begin to breathe in and out at four counts each. This reminds me that I am alive, and that nothing is actually stopping me from living. This one practice may just save your life.
Attach Yourself to Nothing and Everything
With minimum effort, you can begin to detach yourself from all material belongings and even from personal relationships that does not serve you, in order to achieve a grounded and tangible level of peace never before realized.
This does not mean that you will become cold and bitter, refraining from love. Rather, this means that you will learn to allow yourself to let go and accept all things, situations and people as they are.
A personal example: I suffered in-depth last year when two people I knew attempted suicide, both of whom are getting adequate help now. I cried, isolated, stopped eating and could not sleep because I was so worried.
One day while in the midst of a deep meditative state, I somehow envisioned my friends as free spirits, as young and healthy children, and I let their suffering leave my mind, even though my heart still ached.
You, my friend, can begin by looking quietly and intently at both your physical and your personal space. In my physical world, I have donated or thrown out anything that does not serve and nourish my life including all clutter and memories of frustration. In my personal life, I have slowly and steadily let go of people and situations that more often than not leave me feeling empty and sad, while replacing them with only those who help me to feel more alive, positive, and in a continual state of present-being.
In addition to the pieces of advice I have laid out, I would like to inspire you to follow your own individual and interesting personal path. We all have different experiences, and we come from varied ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds, but all that truly matters is that we sit still long enough to listen to our own breath, heart and soul.
One story I like to tell is what I like to call The Serene Shift that happened in my life. About five years ago when I was suffering from the worst anxiety I had ever experienced, and thought that I had tried everything under and over the sun to help me, I had an epiphany or what Oprah has famously coined an “aha moment.”

What if I simply did the opposite of what I had been doing, as what I “had been doing” had always been the dreams and wishes of everyone but myself?

For example, instead of being a Worrier, I imagined myself a Warrior. Instead of Fearing, I started to Fearlessly go forth, and instead of Resenting, I began to Re-send my intentions toward everyone, especially myself, that I would intend to live free and with unbridled passion.
In so many ways, this changed my life for the better, and I have happily endured a more peaceful existence as a result.
What does this mean for you?
Time and patience will tell, if you only allow it, with moments of self-healing thoughts and kindness.
I know things will get better for you, as they have for me.
A realistic Mazel Tov and Namaste to you.
And as my father would say, “A fine how do you do.”

Author: Francesca Biller
source and courtesy: elephantjournal

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Start Doing Planks Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.
Abdominal muscles must provide support for our entire back and spinal column.. In doing so, they also play a vital role in preventing injuries. However, for them to perform this function successfully, our core muscles have to be strong and trained on a regular basis. What all this means is that doing plank exercises every day is a great way to strengthen your core, and in doing so, support your spine.
image credits
Now, let’s focus on what will happen when you start doing planks every day:

1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism


Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

4. You’ll significantly improve your posture


Doing planks greatly improves your ability to stand with straight and stable posture. Through strengthening your core you will be able to maintain proper posture at all times because muscles in the abdomen have a profound effect on the overall condition of your neck, shoulders, chest and back.

5. You’ll improve overall balance


Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before


Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

7. You’ll witness mental benefits


Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
Now, the last thing left to do is to give you a sample plank exercise you can do to achieve great results in only 5-10 minutes a day.
Here is a great infographic that shows some of the best plank exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:
Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.
source and courtesy: lifehack.org

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