lifestyle

8 simple things you can start doing today to make yourself stronger.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Hyundai

Strong and beautiful, inside and out. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way?

Being strong – physically, mentally and emotionally – prepares us to deal with whatever life throws at us. So it makes sense we should do all we can to make ourselves stronger, right?

Here are eight simple ways we can all increase our strength, daily.

1. Do the plank during ad breaks.

If you’re watching something like The Bachelor, where there are actual ad breaks, you might as well make the most of them. Try doing the plank, which is a great exercise for building core strength. Rest on your forearms and toes, with your whole body in a straight line, parallel to the floor.

Don’t expect to be able to do it for a whole ad break – 10 seconds is long enough at first. You can work your way up to 60 seconds.

2. Download a brain training app.

Just as you exercise your body to keep it strong and healthy, you can exercise your brain too.

An app like Lumosity will give you plenty of brain games to play at quiet moments. You can be working on your memory and attention skills, anywhere, anytime.

3. Write about how great you are.

A lot of people believe in saying affirmations to themselves. But studies have shown that what works even better are self-affirmation exercises. These are great for boosting self-esteem and resilience.

All you need to do is come up with qualities that you have and believe are valuable. Maybe you’re loyal, or patient. Then write about ways in which you’ve recently demonstrated those qualities. Your self-esteem will soon go up.

4. Get at least five minutes of sunshine.

You probably know that you need to have plenty of calcium to build strong bones, but you also need enough vitamin D. Around 30 per cent of Australians are vitamin D-deficient. The best way to get this vitamin is through sunlight.

If you’re moderately fair-skinned, you might only need to expose your arms to the sun for five minutes a day, mid-morning or mid-afternoon, during the summer months. Find out more here.

5. Click “random article” on Wikipedia.

Learning something new every day is good for keeping your brain healthy. A simple way to do this is to get into the habit of clicking “random article” on Wikipedia, and reading whatever comes up. Or you can download an app that will send you new information on a daily basis.

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Find one that suits your interests, like Daily Art, which will tell you the story behind a different artwork each day.

6. Meditate for 12 minutes.

Daily meditation can strengthen your focus and improve your memory. It’s even been practised by the US military. But research suggests you need to meditate for at least 12 minutes for it to have a really positive effect.

Find those 12 minutes, then meditate in whatever way works for you. If you haven’t done it before, try just focusing on your breathing. Breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of four.

7. Stand on one leg while you brush your teeth.

Having strong ankles is surprisingly important to your health. Weak ankles can lead to falls. You can increase your ankle strength by practising standing on one leg, even if it’s just for a short time every day.

It should take two minutes to brush your teeth, so try standing on your left leg for one minute and your right leg for the other.

8. Try something that scares you.

If you want to be a more confident or courageous person, start out by acting that way. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. That might mean going along to an event where you don’t know anyone, volunteering to give a talk or trying a new sport.

You can get used to being in situations that make you feel uncomfortable. It might be hard at first, but with practice, it will get easier.

What do you do to make yourself a stronger person?

Speaking of becoming stronger, here’s 9 kick-ass quotes about body image from some of our favourite strong women.

Want more? How about:

My comfort zone was the size of my couch, until I did this.

When in doubt, read.

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