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The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

    I’ve tried on several occasions to remove soda pop from my life – or at least curb my reliability on it. While it does give you a sugar and caffeine high, the effects on that front are brief – and the long-term impact on your health certainly isn’t worth it.

    Up until recently, I was drinking several cans per day rather than drinking healthier options like water and milk, and all for the boost of sugar and caffeine that my body craved. But I made a decision that I had to seriously cut back on the habit because I was getting tired earlier in the day, and was beginning to fear diabetes down the line. Whether that fear was founded or not, it was enough to get me started on kicking the soda pop habit.

    I didn’t try just one thing to make it stick, either. I kept a few things in mind in order to keep me on track, since I’d tried to quit drinking soda pop before and had failed each and every time. The longest I’d ever gone was one month – and after that I fell right back into my old ways. So if you’re looking for the best way to kick the soda pop habit, here it is – from someone who’s tried time and time again to do it.

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    Buy a SodaStream

    Having a SodaStream in your arsenal gives you a few advantages in your battle to the kick soda pop habit.

    Firstly, it allows you to control the amount of soda syrup that goes into your soda. That means you can still undulge in a carbonated beverage every once in a while and not get whatever sugary syrup that store bought soda pop has. Secondly, you are being more environmentally friendly in that the bottles that the SodaStream comes with are better for the planet and you won’t be buying bottles and cans from the store filled with soda pop any longer. Finally, you’ll be saving money, as the materials needed to run the SodaStream are less constly than buying conventional soda pop at the supermarket.

    Again, willpower will be one of your biggest allies in this challenge – even with the SodaStream in your corner. Just make sure you get the SodaStream to work for you in this endeavour…and not against you.

    Indulge periodically – but only with the good stuff

    Quitting cold turkey isn’t ideal for any habit you’re trying to break – and when you’re trying to kick the soda pop habit you need to ween yourself off slowly or give yourself permission to indulge every once in a while. I went with the latter this time around, because the former has never seemed to work for me.

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    Why is that? Because by weening myself off slowly I still had the soda pop easily accessible, either at home or when I’d eat out for dinner. I didn’t commit to making it an occasional indulgence – instead I tried to remove it bit by bit, and that wasn’t measureable for me. By removing soda pop for the majority of the time and allowing yourself the opportunity to have some when you’re in a situation where – for example – you may be out somewhere where you may be needed to be the designated driver, you’re not only giving yourself some breathing room in the challenge, but you may find that you really don;t miss soda pop after all.

    Since I kicked the soda pop habit, I’ve had two small bottles of soda. And while I don’t crave it anymore – and I really don’t miss it – I do know that I can now have a glass of it every once in a while and be okay with that.

    Keep coffee and tea close at hand

    I do like my coffee. I drink it black, with no sugar or milk. I like my morning coffee…and maybe drink two cups of the stuff per day. And I’m beginning to get more and more into tea, especially since I largely removed soda pop from my life.

    In fact, if you want to have some replacements for soda pop in your pantry while you attempt to kick the soda pop habit, coffee and tea aren’t bad ones to have.

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    Start juicing

    Before soda pop was part of my diet, juice was. That’s because my parents let me drink juice well before soda pop was in the fridge. Mind you, the juice we had on hand wasn’t exactly the healthiest type out there – and juicing wasn’t something done in my parents’ house. But it is in mine.

    Get yourself a juicer – it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one…there are plenty of lower cost options out there – and start juicing. It is far healthier than any juice you can buy and will do wonders to help you curb your cravings for soda pop.

    Take trips down soda pop aisles in stores

    I have made a point of going to the soda pop aisle each and every time I go to my local grocery store ever since I took on this challenge, and I still do it to this day. I walk down the aisle to remind me of not only where I’ve been with my diet, but also where I won’t be going again.

    Kicking the soda pop habit isn’t easy, especially if you drank as much of it as I had been drinking. But if you are practical about yor approach to the challenge, consistent in what you do to stay on track and take what I’ve offered above as a means to help you take on the challenge, you’ll find that you can indeed kick the soda pop habit not just for a short while…but for good.

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    And isn’t that something worth resolving to do?

    (Photo credit: Yellow Soda Can via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 13, 2018

    5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

    5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

    Making love can be simultaneously the most pleasurable and the most stressful experience that we share with another human being. It is a natural conclusion of the ritual of intimacy we engage in with a person we find attractive on both a physical and psychological level. Yet, we are far removed from our animalistic roots, and that which was once a matter of instinct has become somewhat complex. This is a good thing; we have grown as a society, and there are many factors involved when it comes to the relationship between sexual partners. However, we have also lost a great deal of the physical prowess our primitive ancestors had.

    They engaged in a huge amount of physical activities daily — activities that ensured their cardiovascular system and muscles were in great shape, which allowed them to have healthy libidos, strong erections, and the muscular strength, limberness and endurance to maintain different positions for a long time without getting exhausted. Luckily, we can regain some of these animalistic traits with the right kind of training. Here are some essential exercises that will help improve your relationship, but making you more confident in intimate settings, which means that you’ll have more satisfying intercourse.

    Don Juan

      1. Cardio for Stamina

      If you’re out of shape, the first thing you’ll notice during intercourse is that you start to breathe heavily, sweat profusely and tire easily. This means you’ll have to shift your posture frequently and limit yourself to a few positions you feel comfortable with or significantly slow down the pace. A high BMI has also been linked to potential problems with erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming and cycling will build up your aerobic stamina and enable you to perform longer before becoming fatigued, thus having better intercourse. They’ll also help manage your weight, possibly helping performance.

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      Triathlon symbol
        • Running – 10-20 minutes a day (1-3 miles a day is more than enough)
        • Jumping rope – 5-20 minutes a day
        • Swimming – 30 minutes a day
        • Cycling – 30 minutes a day

        The time in minutes denotes time spent actively performing the exercise, and you need to factor in a bit more time for warming up before and cooling down after the exercises.

        These exercises can be performed every day or every other day, and the goal is to work on both endurance and speed. Don’t just go at a snail’s pace; constantly try to improve your time or add some mileage.

        2. Strength-Training for Your Lower Body and Core

        The next thing you’ll need to focus on is improving both the strength and muscular endurance of the hip flexors, abdominals and spinal erectors. These are the muscles engaged in thrusting and circular motions, and they also stabilize your body in a number of different positions. The legs also play an important role, particularly in standing and kneeling positions. Here are a few exercises that will help you strengthen up this area:

        Barbell squats
          • Heavy barbell squats – set up at a power rack at the gym and make sure you use proper form and weights that you can lift 3-8 times. Do this exercise before anything else in the gym for 4-5 sets to get big and powerful legs, as well as tighten up the muscles of the core. This is useful for both men and women, particularly if you enjoy the woman-on-top positions and standing positions. You can do hack squats on the machine if your gym lacks a power rack, but you won’t get the core-strengthening benefits

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          Zercher squat
            • Zercher squatsthis type of squat is a perfect way for guys to strengthen their body for standing positions where the woman is lifted off the ground. Build up a foundation of strength first, and then use lighter weights and go for 10-12 repetitions to focus on muscle endurance.

            Glute bridge
              • Glute bridgethis exercise is great for working the glutes and hip thrusters, and should be done for ultra-high reps —up to 100 — to increase muscle endurance. Once you become stronger in this movement, you can upgrade to the barbell glute bridge and keep the reps high — around 10 to 15.

              Hyperextensions
                • Hyperextensions – excellent for strengthening the spinal erectors, this exercise (or a variation of it) may be done in most gyms and even at home. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions at the end of your workout.

                Ab wheel rollout
                  • Ab wheel rollout – this is a great exercise for strengthening the abs, and requires only a piece of inexpensive equipment. It will help you stay stable and hold positions longer without getting tired during intercourse. Do three sets of this workout for as many repetitions as you can.

                  Cross body crunch
                    • Cross body crunchthis exercise improves your ability to perform explosive twisting motions, particularly good for improving your stamina in the spoon position where you’e lying on your side. Do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise at the end of your workout.

                    Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times a week.

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                    3. Upper-Body Strength Training

                    Upper-body strength plays an important role in many popular sex positions where the arms are used to provide a stable base or hold onto the partner. These including missionary, doggy style, the stand and carry (with the woman holding onto the man’s neck) and others. Use these simple exercises to improve upper body strength and endurance:

                    Plank exercise
                      • Plank – while bench pressing is great for building a big chest, you will find yourself in need of static strength, muscle endurance and a strong core. This exercise is a great way to increase the amount of time you are able to hold positions that require you to support yourself with your arms. For added difficulty, straighten out your arms like at the top of a pushup and hold as long as you can.

                      Close grip pushups
                        • Close pushups – a pushup variation that focuses on triceps, which are the first to give out during a prolonged missionary or similar position. Go for very high reps, 20 t0 50, to work on muscle endurance.

                        Chin ups
                          • Chin-ups – A great upper back and biceps builder, this exercise will also target the core if you try to be as straight as possible when lifting yourself up. You can jump to help make things easier, or just hold as long as you can if you aren’t strong enough to perform a single chin up. Do 3 to 4 sets for as many reps as you can.

                          These exercises, done about three times a week, will help you develop a strong upper body that can keep going and hold you up for extended periods of time.

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                          4. Pelvic-Floor Exercises

                          You don’t have to perform these at the gym, although you could do them after your workout without anyone even noticing. The idea behind Kegel exercises is to improve blood flow to the sex organs and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor in both men and women. By locating these muscles and tightening and relaxing them for intervals of 5 seconds for 10 to 15 repetitions at a time, several times a day, you can improve pleasure and performance during sex. Women can tighten their vaginal walls for increased pleasure to both them and their partner, while men can delay ejaculation by tightening these muscles.

                          5. Flexibility Moves for Legs and Hips

                          Lion stretching

                            If you want to avoid getting cramps — or even worse, pulling a muscle during intercourse — you should do a few simple stretches every day. The more limber you are, the more comfortable you’ll be with more exotic poses. Here are a few simple stretches to improve hip and leg flexibility:

                            Take a few minutes to warm up with some light running or jumping jacks before stretching, and spend some 10 minutes on these stretches. You can do them in the morning and at night, or shortly before intercourse.

                            With just a few hours a week devoted to exercise, you can improve your relationship significantly. If you focus on these exercises, over time, you just might become dynamite in bed.

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