3 Ways Working Out Can Help Kick Bad Habits

3 Ways Working Out Can Help Kick Bad Habits

Working out can change your life in more ways than you think! In addition to improving your health, wellness, and appearance you can also shift your habits in amazing ways. Here are three ways that working out can help you kick bad habits.

1. Develop Your Discipline Mental Muscle

Working out takes an immense amount of discipline. Discipline is a mental power. When you wake up early and don’t want to go to the gym, but do it anyways out of a sense of discipline, you just strengthened what I like to think of as your “discipline muscle”.

Mental strength is just like physical strength in that it develops over time. Discipline is an amazing mental strength to have. With discipline on your side, you can accomplish anything.

When you believe that you are a disciplined person, and that you have the ability to act with discipline, a whole new world opens up to you. You can alter bad habits that have been haunting you for your entire life. Set your mind to making a change, and know that the sense of discipline that you have developed with your workout routine is going to come through for you.

2. Meet New People

When you work out you put yourself in new situations and environments. You connect with new people, who you may have never been in contact with before. If you are struggling to break a bad habit, think about what triggers it. It could be your outlook, your routine, and the level of people that you are with on a day to day basis.

Someone who wants to break a habit of drinking every night, for example, might get triggered by their group of friends who always have beers together. Infusing your life with people who do other activities in the evening can have a big impact.

Even if you don’t spend time with them in social environments, some of their attitude and outlook will rub off on you. You might hear them talking about a new restaurant that they love, or an outdoor film festival that is in town. Bring those ideas to your own social group and shake up your routine!

You could also find that you need to drop friends or spend less time with certain groups. That will happen naturally as your mindset shifts. Sometimes we don’t know what is possible until we see it for ourselves. Meeting people who do things differently can really broaden our perspective.

3. Painful Consequences Help You Make Different Choices

Sometimes, the motivation that we receive doesn’t come from working towards an idealized goal, like the body that we hope to develop. Instead it comes from real, physical pain.

When you work out, you push your body in certain ways. This can be with a cardio session, where you stress your lungs and heart, or a strength training session where you work your muscles. Either way, your body will be put under some stress and pressure.

If your bad habits effect the way your body is functioning (and most of them do!) than you will feel pain. The pain won’t be a good pain that comes with a sense of accomplishment. It will be a kind of pain that makes you feel weak and inefficient. It will cause you to take a second look at the choices you have been making and the habits that you have in place.

This pain can be an excellent motivator for change. If you can’t complete a hill sprint because your lungs are filled with tar, you will hack, cough, and feel like you are being punished. You will remember that pain and shame when you go to light up the next cigarette.

9 Easy Gym Exercises for Beginners

9 Easy Gym Exercises for Beginners

When you first start going to the gym, it can feel a bit intimidating. You’ve got the woman who seems to be made out of pure muscle hanging from a bar doing reverse sit ups, while a man in the corner grunts and groans as he lifts a piece of equipment that you’ve never even seen before. Not to worry! When you are just beginning your workout routine, keep it simple! These nine easy exercises are great for beginners because they will only use a mat, free weights, and an exercise ball. If you do all nine, you will get a full body workout that will become second nature once you do it a few times. This is a great routine to get you started!

1. Core: Abs

Start your workout by grabbing a mat and a large exercise ball. Lay it down on the floor and stretch out on it, belly up. put your feet straight up in the air. Grab your ball, and put it between your two feet. Now slowly lower your feet with the ball in between them. Then raise your feet, still with the ball held in between them, and pass the ball to your hands. Lower your arms above your head, and then raise them. Pass the ball to your feet. Repeat this move 12 times, lowering first your feet with the ball between them, and then your arms with the ball held in your hands. Lower only as far as you can with your lower back still pressed to the mat.

2. Core: Lower Abs

Set the ball aside, and stay on your mat. Keep your lower back pressed into the mat while you lower your legs. You should feel your lower abs working. Lower your legs to a count of 3 seconds, and then raise them up. Repeat 12 times.

3. Core: Back Raises

Flip over on your mat so that you are lying on your stomach. Keep your legs pressed together and put your arms out into a “T” shape. Next, raise your arms and your legs simultaneously slightly off of the mat, so that you feel your back muscles working but feel no pain or strain. Just raise and lower your legs a few inches, hold it, and then release. Repeat this 12 times.

4. Arms: Bicep curls

Set aside your mat and ball, and move to the free weights section of the gym. You should see dumb bells of various weights, anywhere from 3 lbs to 30 lbs. As a beginner, you should try a weight that you can lift repeatedly without strain. Don’t be shy to start low; you will work your way up as you continue to weight train. Stand facing a mirror and hold a dumbell in each hand. Bend your arm at the elbow and begin curling the weight towards your shoulder. You should feel your bicep working. Repeat 12 times.

5. Arms: Tricep Extensions

Drop one weight, and hold the other in both hands, above your head. Raise it until your arms are all the way extended, with the weight centered over your head. Lower, and then raise it again. You will feel your triceps fire up. Repeat 12 times.

6. Shoulders: Shoulder Raises

Pick up your other weight so that you have one in each hand. Stand with square shoulders, arms extended. Raise your shoulders towards your ears, and then release.

7. Legs: Calfs

While you are doing your shoulder raises, you can simultaneously do calf raises. Move to your tip toes, and then come back to flat feet. Repeat!

8. Legs: Quads and Glutes

Set aside your weights, and stand facing the mirror. Make a fist with one hand, and put it out in front of your face. Hold onto your fist with the other hand. Next, place your feet hips distance apart. Bend your knees and lower until you are in a position similar to sitting in a chair. Hold this, and then rise up. Repeat this squat 12 times.

9. Legs: Hamstring and Glutes

Find your mat and ball again. Lie down in extended bridge position, with the ball beneath your heels. Roll the ball up as your knees bend, and then extend your legs and roll the ball away from you. The underside of your upper legs should begin to burn! Repeat 12 times.