5 Ways an Exercise Routine Can Help You Break Bad Habits

Everyone has their vices. It’s an adage as old as time. Small concessions to a diet like overeating or a daily soda are some of the most common ways we enjoy a small award for ourselves. For some, relaxation comes from a glass of wine, a cigarette or even a joint if they live in one of the 9 states where cannabis is recreationally legal. While certain things may be all right in moderation, if you find yourself suffering from the results of your bad habits, it may be time to break them.

Breaking vices won’t be easy, and for easy to access products like cigarettes or sodas, it’s going to take a lot of work to break off the habit. Luckily, a good exercise routine can distract your body long enough to hopefully push you over the edge and onto the right to round to breaking with bad habits.

Don’t believe us? Here are five ways an exercise routine can help you break your bad habits.

Working Out Makes You Feel Good

Most weightlifters report a feeling of blood rushing to the muscle groups immediately after working out. This feeling is commonly referred to as “the pump.” While feeling this sensation can be particular to weight lifting, you don’t need a bodybuilder to feel great about your exercise.

Studies have shown that working out releases natural endorphins into the bloodstream. This rush of feel good brain chemicals is a biological reward for giving your body the exercise that it needs. Best of all, this can be felt from weight lifting, aerobic exercise, and just about in any situation that causes you to break a sweat and get your heart pumping.

Many substances and chemicals in our vices also trigger the release of endorphins to, which provides a similar feeling of reward. By getting your natural fix from exercise rather than a drink or smoke, you’ll be more likely to choose the option that improves your body and rewards you for doing so.

You Can Track Your Progress

While regular exercise may seem like a chore at first, but after justa week or two you will begin to feel a difference, both mentally and physically.

As your body shifts away from a dependency on vices and embraces the more natural high of an exercise routine, you should start to notice changes in your appearance and overall mood. In many cases, you may see some weight loss or muscle gain, and see the results either on the scale or in the gym.

It’s important not only to take note of this progress but to find a way to track it as well. Download a fitness application that lets you see your progress over a long period. Exercise routines are effective against bad habits because they reward you in physical, palpable ways. You’ll be able to look into the mirror and see the fruits of your labor—something not as easy to do with caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine.

Your Mental State Will Improve

All of those extra feed-good chemicals floating around in your brain do more than give you temporary euphoria. Exercise routines, especially those enacted over a long period, can improve your mental state and allow further focus on tasks.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health shows that increased physical activity improves mental health. Those who stick to an exercise routine experience improvements in mood, stress relief, and can focus more consistently on goals. When warding off old habits, that increased focus and drive is crucial.

Your mental state has also been shown by the above study to aid in sleep and overall ambition. What makes routines so helpful is their ability to increase rewards over time. If you can manage to stick it through the first few weeks, you’ll be rewarded constantly for your efforts.

You’re Replacing—Not Removing

All too often, people will attempt to go cold turkey on their bad habit of choice without finding a way to fill the void where that habit used to be. While going cold turkey can work for some, you’ll be faced with an uphill battle by missing out on your bad habit and having nothing else to turn to.

This is why an exercise routine is one of the most common replacements for vices. Instead of simply dropping off your habit, you’re forming a new one that’s equally (if not more) addictive than the last one. Addictions and desires, when attributed to the right cause, are not necessarily bad.

By replacing instead of removing, you’ll have something to turn to when the cravings kick back in.

You’re Joining A Bigger Community

Finally, many of the bad habits formed rely heavily on social influence. Smoking and drinking, for example, put people together in an intimate setting and can be used by co-workers and friends to further connect.

By switching out the smoke break for the daily workout, you’ll be swapping out one community for another. Exercise routines help you break bad habits because they put you with people that are often trying to accomplish the same thing.

Communities of all kinds are vital in helping keep people stay on track with their goals. Try to find a local community group near you that will best help you exercise, and enjoy being active.

Final Thoughts

Don’t just rely on exercise alone to finally quit your bad habit. If you struggle with drinking, talk to friends and family that have dealt with a similar problem and see what wisdom they can grant you. If you enjoy smoking, consider switching over to vaporizers and do a quick google search to learn about the best local store or best online vape shop for supplies.

An exercise routine is one of the most effective ways to break a bad habit, but don’t forget to talk to others and keep a close eye on your progress as you shift away from your old self and into your new you. The longer you remain consistent and vigilant, the easier it will be to leave your vice in the distant past.

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