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Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Some of the fundamental problems with quitting or resisting the use of alcohol come from a skewed perception of its usage. With alcohol being promoted as widely normative, it’s easy to forget that many people don’t actually do it. More importantly, it’s easy to be ignorant to the reasons why many people don’t actually do it.

The most recent data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention shows that there are about as many non-drinkers in the United States as there are drinkers (48.5% to 51.5%, respectively). You wouldn’t assume this to be the case, given how prevalent drinking references there are in popular culture. But if you decide to steer clear of alcohol, you won’t be only one at the party not clutching a cocktail.

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Here are some of the most compelling reasons for nixing alcohol from your diet and lifestyle.

1. Money

This one may appear obvious at first. The drain on your finances caused by drinking isn’t some sneaky side effect working its way undetected through your system. The evidence is right there on the tab.

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Have you ever actually sat down and thought about how much you spend on alcohol, and what you could do with that money were you to reallocate it? Say you buy just three drinks a night, three nights a week. That’s nine drinks at around $5 a drink (a conservative estimate). That means you’re spending $45 dollars every weekend and $180 a month on alcohol.

More expensive than a lot of your bills, no? Drop booze from your life and buy yourself a couple pairs of new shoes—every month.

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2. Health

There are a litany of potential health hazards related to alcohol abuse ranging from physiological traumas like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease, to psychological disorders such as dementia and depression. Then, of course, there’s the very real hazard of drunk driving and the 10,228 people killed in 2010 in the U.S. alone in drunk driving accidents.

The most nefarious health side effects, though, are liver disease and liver failure. In the same year (2010), there were 25,692 deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, 15,990 of which stemmed from liver disease.

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3. Lose Weight

Aside from the more serious physical consequences of extensive alcohol consumption, there are the immediate weight-related effects. The average 12-ounce beer has about 150 calories, the average shot about 100, and cocktails can run into the hundreds of calories. Not only that, alcohol is detrimental to other efforts to keep off weight and stay fit. Research shows that alcohol can inhibit muscle development and cancel out a lot of hard work put in at the gym.

4. Sleep Better

You may associate drinking with stumbling up the stairs to your house, collapsing into bed, and passing out. And while alcohol does act as a sedative for casual drinkers in the beginning stages of the night, studies show that for heavy drinkers it actually contributes to sleeping disorders. This is because after an initial sedated period, alcohol disrupts the crucial deeper stages of sleep and keeps sleep from being as restorative as it should be. Waking up tired after excessive drinking is clear evidence of this effect.

These are all good reason for letting go of alcohol, but quitting is definitely easier said than done. If you’re looking for help, you may want to talk with a doctor, a friend, or seek guidance from those who have been there before when developing a personal recovery plan. Remember that there are far more people living soberly than you might think.

With all of these facts in front of you, it might be time reconsider alcohol’s real impact on your life, and whether it’s giving you the health and happiness you need.

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Simon Andras

Simon is an entrepreneur who blogs about lifestyle.

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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