How to Get Whiter Teeth Easily

I love coffee. My teeth don’t however.

Few things matter more to our overall appearance than our smile, and the color of our teeth is a key determinant of how great (or not so great) our smile is.

If you are like me, you tend to do a lot of abusive stuff to your teeth. How many of the following do you consume?

Coffee

Tea

Red Wine

Soft Drinks

Products with Food Coloring (for example – bright candies, colored sports drinks)

Overtime, these wreak havoc on the the brightness and color of your smile. How can you fight back? Well, the simplest thing you can do is reduce or eliminate those foods and beverages which are causing the damage. Of course, brushing your teeth is a must as well. If you are out during the day and cannot brush, at least rinse your mouth out with water or Listerine to remove acids and stain-causers from your teeth. I’ll add, though it doesn’t necessarily affect the color or brightness of your teeth, you absolutely should be flossing daily. You don’t want to head off to work with something stuck between your teeth!

If you want to take your smile to the next level, a visit to your dentist will be needed. They have products that can give you a Hollywood smile, but expect to pay a lot. Home options exist as well. Be careful, some are unnecessarily expensive, and others just don’t work very well. I recommend Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects. The makers claim it removes 14 years worth of stains. While I can’t vouch for that number, I can say it makes a big difference, especially for coffee or wine drinkers. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

Your smile is the first thing many people see. If you want to improve your life this year, then commit today to making your smile something you can proudly display.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Drink Enough Water Every Day

Time for some real talk. You and I probably have not drunk enough water today. Water is practically free, takes just seconds to consume, and has tons of positive effects on our bodies and brains.

So here is today’s challenge. No soft drinks whatsoever. You may have some coffee and beer, but for each cup of joe or pint of beer, you have to have an additional glass of water. Try it today. I stake my entire reputation on the fact that you will feel more energy than you normally do.

How to make sure you get enough water every day? It’s this simple. Forget trying to measure ounces and just follow this routine and you’ll be fine.

  1. Two small cups or one large cup as soon as you wake up. You’ve gotten dehydrated during the night, so this wake-up refreshment is important for your brain and skin.
  2. Drink water with each meal.
  3. No soft drinks.
  4. One glass of water for each cup of coffee or bottle of beer you consume.
  5.  A glass of water whenever you feel thirsty.
  6. A glass whenever exercising, working outdoors, or other sweat-inducing situations.
  7. One small glass before bed.

Try this for a week and marvel in your new-found energy levels and bright, clear skin. Need additional motivation? Get a great water bottle that’s stylish and easy to bring with you to work, class, or the gym. I like Embrava’s 32oz BPA Free grey water bottle. Get’s the job done and looks great.

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To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Get Fit without a Gym

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A quality gym is one of the best investments you can make. Regular exercise will keep you happy, healthy, and fit. But sometimes we may not have access to a gym. You might be traveling or facing financial constraints. The good news is, by making use of your own body weight, you are able to replicate a lot of the benefits of a gym right in your own home.

The basic principle is pretty simple – you find ways to create resistance for your muscles through the weight of your body. Here’s a sample workout you can start with. As always, you should check with a doctor before initiating an exercise routine.

Pushups – We can use pushups to work our arms and chest. Find out how many you can comfortably do. Then do that number every other day. Each week, add one more pushup to your routine. Within a year, you’ll be doing over 50 pushups a day, and will see a dramatic transformation of your upper body.

Squats – Squats are an amazing exercise. They work your upper legs and buttand are quick and easy to do. Find out how many you can comforably do and then do them every other day on the opposite day of your pushups. Add one more to your routine once a week to make sure you keep challenging your body.

Planking – This exercise transforms your core. Plank on your squats day. See how long you can comfortably plank, and then add 5 seconds per week.

For each of these exercises, remember that form really matters. Check out some videos of each exercise on Youtube to make certain you are doing them correctly.

If this simple exercise routine gets a bit dull, you can step up your home-based body weight workout by getting You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Body Weight Exercises. It is written by an elite Special Operations physical trainer, and provides an ingeniously simple, rapid-results, do-anywhere program for getting into amazing shape.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Sleep Better in 5 Easy Ways

If you want to improve your life this year, you need to learn how to cultivate a good night’s sleep. Quality sleep is one of the best ways to have a healthy, happy life. While it eludes many people, a good rest is not such a difficult feat to pull off. You just need to understand some basic rules about sleeping and your body. Here are five simple rules I now follow to improve my sleep.

  1. Schedule Sleep – Don’t get up and go to bed at wildly different times each day. That messes with your body’s natural sleep cycles and makes it harder for you to fall asleep fast, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed.
  2. Don’t Sabotage Your Sleep – Avoid late-in-the-day caffeine from coffee, tea, energy drinks or sodas. Don’t take stimulants such as tobacco. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy meals near bedtime as well.
  3. Make a Sleep Sanctuary – Keep your bedroom dark, neat, and between 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t bring work, bills, or other stress-causers into your bedroom. Make sure your pillows, sheets, blankets and mattresses are comfortable. I highly recommend this memory foam pillow made in America by the sleep experts at the Original Bamboo. Invest a bit in what you sleep on and you’ll notice the difference in your energy each day.
  4. Work Hard, Play Hard. During the day, get physical exercise and sunlight. Both will set you up for a more restful sleep at night. Don’t take naps either, as they’ll have the opposite effect.
  5. Ease Into Bedtime – Have a glass of warm milk or read a book. Avoid the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as phones and tablets.

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Run your First 5K

I have a few quick questions for you. Do you want more endurance? Do you want a healthy heart and lungs? Do you want sexy calves? Do you want a medal to hang on your wall next to your other accomplishments? Of course you do. Let’s run a 5K.

Why a 5K? Well, they are pretty easy to pull off in a short time. A 5K is a great intro to the world of running. After you knock one of these out, you’ll know if you want to do this more often, or if it is not really your kind of hobby. And hell, it will be a great story! Lace up your shoes, and then check out my step-by-step guide to running your first 5K.

Step 1 – Find a Race. Just Google 5K and your hometown. Select the next upcoming race and register for it. Depending on the race, you’ll probably need to drop about 50 dollars on the registration. For the price of a night out, you are doing something great for your body.

Step 2 – Get Ready. You might get hurt if you hit the course without any prep, so do your body (and finish time) a favor a do a little prep before race day. Pre-race training may be a bit boring, but remember, we’re doing this for the endurance, healthy heart and lungs, sexy calves, and medal, so do your prep.

Step 3 – Get your Gear. Don’t be that guy on race day who looks like a damn fish out of water. Get some good shoes, prep your tunes, and seriously, get this book. It runs through everything you need to know to kill it on race day. It got me from being a running rookie to finishing a 5K in under 21 minutes.

Step 4 – Have fun. If you’ve been following the diet and training recommendations in Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon, you’ll be set on race day. So have fun and savor the experience. It’ll all be over in a few minutes, so push your hardest and get ready for your new personal record!

The next time you are hanging out with friends, you’ll have a great story to share, and best of all, you’ll have a great excuse for one more beer – you’re carb-loading for your next race!

To your daily growth!

Jamie

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How to Create A Killer Push Up Workout

Today my arms hurt. So do my chest, abs, and even my upper legs. Why? Push ups. You may just think of push ups as a simple body-weight exercise that you do to work your upper arms, but in this post I will show you push up variations and a push up routine routine that will leave you breathless, sweaty, and sore all over. Ye with weak constitutions, turn back now. Next stop, Jamie’s Push Up Challenge.

Your Push Up Guide – The Basics

First let’s look at some basic information about the lowly push up. This is Push Ups 101. This is Push Ups Boot Camp. This is the Push up Guide you never knew you needed. OK, enough with all the hyperbole. Here are answers to a few push up questions you may have wondered about.

What is the best push up form and push up position?

As we’ll see in a few moments, there is no single right way to do it. There are tons of push up forms and positions that target different muscles. The only common rules are, don’t use your back muscles to raise or lower yourself, don’t engage in sudden, jerky movements, and don’t push beyond your current abilities to the point of injury. Your abilities will increase slowly week-by-week if you stick at it. Not the sexiest answer, but that’s the truth. Pushing too hard all at once will lead to setbacks. Slow and steady wins the race here.

How often should I do push ups?

I will turn a few heads with this advice, but don’t do them everyday. I’ll repeat it. Do not do push ups everyday. Shocked right? Well here’s the thing. Your muscles don’t actually grow during exercise. I know it looks like they do, but that is just the extra blood flooding into the tissue. Instead, the real muscle growth occurs during your rest time. If your goal is to get stronger and get bigger, then you should never hit the same exercise everyday. Rather, you should do your push up workout every other day to maximize the benefits.

What are the benefits of push ups?

Why should we do push ups? Weight loss. Muscle mass gains. Self-discipline. Or in other words, you’ll look great, feel great, and know inside that you are great.

How many calories does a push up burn?

A single push up burns approximately 1 calorie.

What is the Push Up Record?

The record for the most non-stop push ups stands at 10,507. Damn, son.

What is the Most Useless Push Up Trivia?

Mexicans call push ups “lagartijas” which means “lizards” because, well, obviously…
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Jamie’s Push Up Challenge

There are tons of different push ups styles out there. But I’ve combined my all-time favorites into a simple, brutal push up challenge. Here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Stormy Seas Push Ups

You are a ship at sea, and boy, the seas are rough. Instead of lowering your body with both arms as you do in standard push up, you lower only one arm, keeping the other arm in the same position you would be in at the top of a standard push up. Raise yourself back up. Then lower yourself with the opposite arm. If you get the motion right, you’ll feel your self tipping from left to right like a ship in stormy seas.

Step 2: Triangle Push Ups

These are evil. Form a triangle by touching your index fingers to each other and thumbs to each other under your chest. Then push yourself up and down. Enjoy (evil laugh).

Step 3: Pirate Push Ups

Do a standard push up with one twist. Lift one of your legs of the ground and hold it up in the air instead. Alternate from leg to leg as you do the push ups.

How Many Push Ups Should You Do?

Let’s figure out where your current fitness level is at. Start by doing 1 Stormy Seas Push Up for each leg. Total: 2 Pushups. Then do 1 Triangle Push Up. Total 1 Push Up. Finish with 1 Pirate Push Up for each leg. Total 2 Pushups. Your grand total is 5 Push Ups.

That was easy, right. Well if it was easy, add 1 of each. That’s 4 Stormy Seas Push Ups, 2 Triangle Push Ups, and 4 Pirate Push Ups – a total of 10. If that’s easy, go for 15. If that’s easy, go for 20. I started at 40 and now am at 90. My goal is to reach 150. Find out where you are at. Do the push up challenge once every other day. Aim to level up your push ups once or twice a month.

If you love the idea of using body weights at home instead of shelling out lots of money each month for a gym membership, then get Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises. I absolutely love this book and use it as a source of inspiration for designing my own workout plans. The author is an absolute bad-ass, in the best meaning of the word. Here’s the bio from the book.

Mark Lauren has effectively prepared over 700 trainees for the extreme physical demands of the most elite levels of the special operations community. He is a Military Physical Training Specialist, Special Operations Combat Controller, triathlete, and mixed martial artist. Lauren broke, and still holds, the Department of Defense’s long standing “underwater record” by swimming 133 meters, on one breath, subsurface, for 2 minutes and 23 seconds, until losing consciousness.

Mark’s book is all you need to learn even more about push ups and other body weight exercises and get yourself into killer shape all from your own living room.

Jamie

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Calling All Self-Improvement Bloggers

Hi, I’m Jamie Moyer. I’m a pretty regular guy. Grew up in a small town in a very middle-class family. Attended a state college. Nothing fancy. However, 8 years ago, I made a decision that changed my life forever. I decided to prioritize my personal growth.

Many people I knew would grow a lot during their childhood, teenage years, and college – but after graduation, their progress would slow and eventually almost stop. They’d settle into a routine with work and family and that would pretty much be it. I made a vow 8 years ago to focus on personal development day after day, month after month, year after year.

In those 8 years, I earned an MBA, traveled to several countries, lived and worked abroad, started 3 businesses, taught at a university, and met many amazing people along the way. I’m still a pretty regular guy, albeit one who has had some great experiences that have taught me a lot.

Recently, I started this site, Improve My Life This Year, in order to codify the best self-improvement tips I have learned during these 8 years. I am in the process of creating a 365-day curriculum of self-improvement that will super-charge someone’s personal development.

This is where you come in. I’m not a genius. I’m not smarter than the next the guy. The only reason I consider myself an expert on self-improvement is this – I’ve been a good listener. I haven’t created radical, revolutionary ideas that will change the world. Rather, like a good museum curator, I have identified and gathered the best ideas of others to assemble this curriculum.

And this is why I need you. Do you have valuable self-improvement ideas? I’d love to hear them. I’m sure each self-improvement blogger out there has incredible advice to that both I and my readers would love to hear. During the month of June, I will be opening up my blog to ideas from other great bloggers.If you have a piece of great advice, I am giving you the opportunity to showcase it here. This site is less than 2 months old and already ranking well in the U.S. and internationally.

If you have a piece of great advice, I am giving you the opportunity to showcase it here. This site is less than 2 months old and already ranking well in the U.S. and internationally.

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For context, we are already ranked around 2 millionth out of about 1 billion sites globally, and we are increasing week by week. So if you’d like to get your advice and link back to your own site out in front of my audience, please contact me at jamiemoyer622@gmail.com

Here are some guidelines for your submission.

  1. Your article should be around 500 words (Maximum 1000 words). This site aims to deliver advice that can be read in just a couple minutes. If your post is about a longer idea, feel free to link back to more complete advice in one of your own posts on your site.
  2. Your article should be original and you must agree not to republish it anywhere else. Reposting it on your site or elsewhere is plagiarism and risks both your site and mine being penalized by search engines like Google.
  3. Keep your posts PG. I use damn, hell, and whatnot, but please no f-word, explicit sex advice, and whatnot. I personally do not have a problem with that style of writing and you are free to link to an article on your site that includes those, but Improve My Life This Year aims to be a comfortable place for readers all age groups, religious backgrounds, etc.

If you have questions, please contact me and I’ll be happy to answer them. Once you send me a possible post for submission, I’ll respond within 24 hours to let you know if I will post it and if not. That way you will know whether or not you are free to submit it elsewhere or on your own site.

I look forward to hearing your self-improvement ideas, and I thank you in advance on behalf of my audience for your willingness to share your advice with so many people.

To our self-improvement,

Jamie