Everyone wants to stay healthy. But, are you taking the steps necessary to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle?
It turns out many people aren’t.
According to multiple studies, some of the habits we think are healthy are actually bad for our health. Replacing breakfast with smoothies which seems a perfectly healthy change, for instance, has been found to be a dangerous move.
“While fruit is healthy, consuming large amounts of it at once may still raise blood sugar, leading to an insulin spike,” warns Kayleen St. John, a nutrition expert.
That’s just one example. The following are eight other common habits that may seem exemplary on the face of it, but which could be taking a toll on your health.
8 Toxic Habits You Must Cut Off to be Truly Healthy
1. Depriving yourself of enough sleep
Many people, especially those trying to build a new business or impress a new boss, often see this as a heroic act. The majority will actually do it intentionally, often working long hours and sparing only a few hours for sleep.
You are making a huge mistake. First off, you need sleep to commit new information to memory – a process known as memory consolidation. Depriving your brain of sleep, therefore, could hurt your success goals.
Additionally, sleep deprivation is directly linked to poor mood, weight gain, and cardiovascular health problems including hypertension and irregular heartbeats.
According to the BBC, the number of smokers globally is close to the one billion mark. This means that one in seven people smoke. If you’re one of these people, you need to stop right away, or you risk getting into all kinds of trouble.
A 2018 CDC report shows that more than 16 million Americans (4.8% of the population) live with a disease caused by smoking. These diseases include; cancer, heart disease, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs) which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
It gets worse, and you could actually die! The same CDC report shows that globally, 7 million people die from tobacco-related illnesses every year. In the U.S., cigarette smoking is responsible for about 480,000 deaths annually.
3. Excessive drinking
The occasional drink, though not 100% healthy, is actually good for the soul. However, binge drinking is straight out risky. Not only does it seriously inhibit your cognitive capacity (ability to think clearly), it could kill you.
Alcohol is linked to a range of diseases including; brain problems pancreas problems, heart diseases (such as cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, stroke, and high blood pressure), liver diseases (such as liver steatosis, cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and fibrosis), and multiple types of cancer (such as mouth, esophagus, throat, breast, and liver). All these diseases can kill!
For this reason, if you drink too much, cut it out right away. Also, rethink your drinking frequency. Drinking more than twice a week isn’t healthy at all.
4. Eating junk food
It’s true that a single burger can’t hurt your health. Even two are perfectly healthy. They’re food anyway.
The problem, however, is that we usually can’t get enough of them. There’s always likely to be a second, third, and fourth time. And once you’re at the fourth one, there’s no going back. Because let’s be honest, those Burger King treats can be pretty tasty.
You must find a way to keep off these foods. A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that binging on junk food alters brain activity just as much as addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Moreover, junk food is the quickest route to obesity problems.
5. Watching too much TV
Sitting around watching TV not only makes you lazy, but it can also lead to a series of health problems, including obesity.
Interestingly, the primary cause of this weight gain isn’t sitting around – it’s the commercials! Steve Gortmaker, a professor of health sociology at Harvard says that the marketing and commercials on TV significantly increase the intake of unhealthy foods, quickly resulting in weight gain.
Aside from weight issues, too much TV is also related to; diabetes, heart disease, impotence, damaged relationships, isolation, and increased aggression. Learn how to improve your social health and reduce your time on the TV.
6. Sitting at your desk all day
Web MD has been following up on this problem, and the findings are devastating! Compared to those who do their work while standing or those who at least spend a few hours in an upright position, people whose work involve a lot of sitting are more likely to suffer from; weight gain, heart diseases, dementia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, anxiety, back pain, varicose veins, stroke – the list is endless.
Even worse, exercising can’t reverse the damage caused by too much sitting. That’s why it’s more important than ever for workers to find ways to stand upright even just for a few hours every day. Alternatively, find out more about standing desks and make plans to acquire one.
7. Tardiness (the “art” of constantly being late)
This might come as a surprise, but science shows that being chronically late could be what’s killing you. No, you won’t die just because you arrived at an office meeting 30 minutes late. But, the consequences of that could.
How? Well, first of all, running late is one of the top causes of auto accidents. If you’re lucky enough not to lose your life in the accident, you could suffer a life-changing injury.
Secondly, tardiness increases stress levels. We all know the effects of stress on health. Above all, constantly being late is plain annoying. It could cause you to be fired, miss out on opportunities, and even cost you a few relationships. To avoid tardiness, you can learn about some essential health tips for time management that could help you.
8. Being in the wrong relationships
No, we’re not just talking about romantic relationships. Any relationship, even parent-child relationships, can be toxic.
Toxic relationships are bad for your health. These relationships often leave us trying to prove ourselves to the other party. In the end, this might cause you to do things you shouldn’t be doing – such as drinking, smoking, and indulging in other risky behaviors. This is bad for you.
Also, bad relationships hold you back. You can’t progress because something is always dragging you back. If you’re in such a relationship, it’s time to say enough is enough.
Other Habits to Kick Out for a Healthy Life
Five other habits to get rid of if you want to live a long, healthy life are;
not drinking enough water, eating late at night, doing the same workout over and over, spending too much time indoors, walking in high heels, and not taking oral hygiene seriously.