Trying to stay healthy can seem like a minefield littered with poor decisions. Some days it seems like you’re doing just fine and other days it seems like you’re ticking every box on the route to being unhealthy and miserable. In a world full of temptation, it can be easy to make bad choices and fail diets and exercise regimes. Don’t beat yourself up; it isn’t easy to stay on the right path all the time, but it’s not too late to make a difference either. The most important thing to remember is never to give up – if you slip up, chalk it up to experience and keep on trying. Other than poor diet and exercise, unfortunately, there are lots of little things that contribute to poor health, some of which we don’t even consider. Here are just a few aspects of our lifestyles which could be making us unhealthy:
Drinking Too Much: The odd glass of wine or G&T now and then isn’t going to hurt, but when it gets to be more than that, we can be putting our bodies under severe strain. Not only are we taking in excess calories, but it can also lead to liver damage, heart problems, and depression. Quitting or severely cutting down will aid digestion, improve sleep, and make your heart healthier so you’ll see massive improvements quickly.
Smoking: As far as bad habits go, smoking is pretty high up the list of unhealthy choices. Risks of cancers and heart disease rise astronomically when you start smoking but it doesn’t have to be that way. Quitting smoking, although tricky for a couple of days, will make your health improve rapidly and cigarettes soon stop being appealing. If you smoke, you’ll be amazed by how much your sense of smell and taste improve when you quit, as well as your own smell (and bank balance).
Partying Too Hard: When we’re young, we live for the weekend. Going to the club and parties are great for socializing, having a good time, and creating memories, but could also be doing untold damage to your health. Aside from the problems with drinking, smoking, and lack of sleep, we expose ourselves to the dangers of drugs and unsafe sex, as well. If you’re concerned about the impact of your party lifestyle on your health, make sure that you visit one of the STD testing clinics near you for a check up and peace of mind.
Eating Out: It’s nice to treat ourselves now and then, but eating at restaurants or ordering in too often could be a really unhealthy option. Even if you try to order healthier sounding meals from the menu, it’s usually the case that a lot of salt and sugars are used to make the food taste good. Even salads are usually covered in calorie-rich dressing. Try to cook most of your meals yourself so that you know you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need, but also so you can keep a closer eye on what goes into your food. Your body and wallet will thank you.
Snacking: If it’s not in a meal, then the calories don’t count, right? Well, not exactly. When you allow yourself to snack regularly, you lose touch with your body’s own way of telling you that it’s hungry, which can lead to chronic overeating, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease. On top of all of this, snacking on junk food is obviously flooding your body with unhealthy stuff such as fats and salts, that you just really don’t need. Break the habit by only eating at meal times and allowing yourself to feel hunger – it can take some getting used to, but it’s worth it.
Staying Inside: We need fresh air and the sunshine to make us happy, to ensure we’re balanced, and to get the vitamin D that we will go on really poorly without. If your lifestyle is conducive to staying inside basically all the time, it’s super important to find opportunities to go outside, exercise, and enjoy the sun.
Sun Worshiping: A bit of sunshine is really important, but exposing yourself to the sun’s rays too much can lead to much greater issues down the line. Frequent sunburn or tanning can lead to skin cancer, which can be fatal. Too much sun will also affect the elasticity of the skin, meaning we seem to age faster with wrinkles, sun blotches, and general discoloration. If you’re concerned about your exposure to the sun, it’s important that you visit a dermatologist to discuss it.
Reliance on Caffeine: If you’re always tired enough to need caffeine, it’s time to get to the root of the problem, instead of relying on coffee to keep you going. Caffeine is fine in small doses, but when you flood your system with it, you could be risking high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and even worsening anxiety disorders. If you think you drink too much caffeine, try to replace it with water – hydration is great for making us feel more awake. It could also be worth reconsidering your sleeping regime if you’re experiencing excessive tiredness.
Working Woes: Considering most of us are at our desks (or the equivalent) for at least eight hours a day, it’s not surprising that a lot of our physical complaints can be the result of poor posture, carpal tunnel, or generally just sitting down for too long. If your work consists of sitting at a desk for long periods of time, ensure that your furniture is as ergonomically sound as possible. Not only will you see an improvement in your general well being, but your efficiency at work will also improve with better comfort.
Skipping Sleep: We’re all guilty of staying up too late or getting up too early, but not having enough shut-eye can cause heart problems and mental health issues which is just not worth the risk. We should all be aiming for around eight hours of sleep a night, although some need more and some less. If getting up in the morning is a huge struggle and you’re finding yourself too tired to function during the day, it could be worth considering stepping up your sleep. Make sure you take the time to wind down before bed and avoid electronics for a few hours too. More sleep makes everything feel better.