If you strive to eat healthy and make working out a priority. But achieving a state of wellness is more than just swapping a salad for a cheeseburger and hitting your daily 30 minutes on the elliptical. It’s also about looking at the things that you are doing on a daily basis and evaluating whether or not they are good for you.
Your everyday behaviors may be holding you back and you don’t even know it.
Below are some habits that can have a negative impact on your health, plus expert advice on what to do instead:
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation puts your body under stress and disrupts the regulation and release of many regulatory hormones. Besides increasing the risk of heart disease and reducing the body’s ability to fight infection, research shows the less someone sleeps, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese and crave higher calorie foods. Those who sleep five hours or less are more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven hours or more a night. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “the optimal amount of sleep needed to perform adequately, avoid sleep debt, and not have problems…during the day is about 7-8 hours for adults.”
Bad Toothbrush Hygiene
Your daily dental cleansing tool may be a cesspool of germs, containing an array of harmful bacteria, including fecal matter, according to research. Combine that with the gunk that comes off of your teeth while brushing, and you could be filling your mouth with all sorts of germs.
“One of the major mistakes people make is to leave their toothbrushes out in the open in the bathroom,” he said. “Every toilet flush catapults an aerosol of bacterial unmentionables into the air that wind up on you and your toothbrush.”
Also, don’t share a toothbrush. A variety of germs can be spread via a contaminated toothbrush, including bacteria as well as viruses like herpes simplex type one,
care tips include replacing your toothbrush at least every three to four months (sooner if the bristles become frayed with use), giving your brush a good rinse every night, and if more than one toothbrush is stored in the same area, keeping them separated to prevent cross-contamination.
If you skip meals because you don’t have time or you want to reduce your total calories during the day, you’re making a big mistake. Skipping meals will likely make you feel hungrier and cause you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. Skipping breakfast, in particular has been linked to obesity.
Be sure to eat balanced meals or snacks every four to five hours to keep your appetite at bay and your metabolism revived.
Not washing hands before meals
It may seem pretty self-explanatory, but it’s not a common practice for many. Even for those that wash their hands every time they finish up in the bathroom, they’re still alright with, say, taking public transit, shaking hands with some friends and sitting down to some snacks without washing up. And despite all the studies about keyboards carrying more bacteria than toilet seats, it’s rare for anyone to feel the need to wash up after sending a few work emails. Be careful and don’t get sick.
Not Taking Enough Water
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly which makes water the first thing to be taken in the morning. At least you should drink 8 cups of water daily.
Drinking Your Calories
If the majority of your drinks contain some sort of added sugar (sports drinks, sodas, fruit punch, or specialty coffees or teas), you are consuming calories that have no nutritional value or filling affect., consuming added sugar regularly, can lead to extra pounds and obesity.
Consider herbal teas or making your own fruit-infused water if you need a little extra flavor.
Not Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables protect against heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, and prevent painful intestinal issues, common causes of vision loss, and some types of cancer. If you aren’t eating these foods, you are at greater risk for all of these ailments.
Make an effort to include one fruit and vegetable serving in at least two of your meals every day.
Too Much Screen Time
Whether it’s your computer, phone, television, or some other screen–using it more than two hours a day can lead to weight problems, and more than four hours a day increases the risk of various diseases.
When using a screen, the body’s calorie-burning rate immediately plunges to a third of what it would be while walking; the enzymes responsible for breaking down and vacuuming up fat out of the blood stream plunge and causes the levels of “good” cholesterol to fall; and insulin effectiveness drops within one day, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Get active when you have to use screen time (like using a sit/stand work station). At home, talk to your family about the importance of reducing screen time and work together to find other activities that don’t require a screen.
Sitting All Day
Whether you work, commute, and/or go to school, you are likely sitting all day. And even if you’re an avid exerciser The National Institutes of Health say long periods of sitting is linked to a shorter lifespan and a wide range of medical problems. Sitting greatly reduces muscle contractions and slows the metabolism. This lowers calorie burn, and increases storage of unused energy to fat.
Take a few minutes every hour to get up and move around. Breaking up sitting time with short bursts of activity is associated with various health benefits.
Exercise gets the blood pumping, increases “good” cholesterol, strengthens bones and muscles, and reduces the risk for various health problems like type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Without exercise, you are at greater risk for disease. Additionally you may experience low energy, stiff joints, poor circulation, and difficulty performing physical work. In one study, individuals who were obese and performed no exercise lost about seven years of life compared to active, normal-weight individuals.
Adults should aim to exercise at least 150 minutes a week. If getting in regular exercise is difficult, break up the time into 10 minute increments throughout the day.