It takes a lot of effort to look after your health. If you want to be a really healthy person, you have to put thought into what you eat and how much you exercise, as well as lot more. Some of this can become second nature, so you don’t have to think about it too much. However, some of the things you do without thinking aren’t so healthy. There are various things you might be doing that could have a negative impact on your life, without you even realising it. Everything from the clothes you wear to the way you walk could affect your health. You don’t have to do everything in the healthiest way possible, but you might want to change some of your habits to be healthier day-to-day.
Sitting for too long
Sitting down for most of the day is all too common. If you work in an office, you’re sat at your desk for eight hours or more a day. And then when you get home, it’s too tempting to spend the evening on the sofa too. Sitting down might feel better than standing up all day, but spending too long in a chair isn’t good for you. It can be bad for your back and neck, but there are also other potential consequences. Sitting for too long has been linked to type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and even early death. It’s important to be active if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid sitting or lying down for too long.
Wearing tight clothes
When you’re getting dressed, maybe to going out, you probably don’t think much of putting on a tight pair of jeans, beyond how comfortable you’re going to be standing up and sitting down. But wearing tight clothes could do more damage than just making it a little harder for you to bend your legs. If your clothes are too tight and you wear them regularly, it could cause nerve damage. What’s more, it might also lead to more UTIs for women. Men should stay away from wearing tight underwear too often, as well. It can stop their testicles from being about to regulate their temperature properly, which might affect fertility.
Brushing your teeth
We all have to brush our teeth to keep them clean and healthy. But it’s not simply brushing your teeth that could be bad for you. Brushing at the wrong time or in the wrong way could do you some damage, however. For example, if you brush straight after having something sugary, like a fizzy drink, you could be doing more harm than good. Sugar can soften the enamel on your teeth, which you could then end up brushing away if you don’t wait a while. You could also end up damaging your teeth or gums if you use a toothbrush that’s too hard.
Using your phone in bed
It has become a habit for a lot of us to use our phones everywhere, from when we’re out with friends to sitting on the toilet. A lot of us attempt to wind down at night by using our phones in bed, or just before we go to bed. While you might think a bit of light reading or some cat videos might help you relax before you go to sleep, it could actually keep you awake. The blue and white light that screens on phones, tablets and laptops give off can prevent your brain from releasing melatonin, which tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. If you want a better night’s sleep, it might be a better idea to avoid using your phone right before bed.
Your sleeping position
It’s not just using your phone that can affect how well you sleep and other aspects of your health. The position you sleep in might also have an impact on some things, such as the health of your back and joints. If you find that you get back pain, it could be your sleeping posture that’s to blame – or, rather, not having the right mattress and pillow to support your sleep position. Choosing a mattress that has the right level of firmness can make a big difference to how well your body is supported as you sleep. Your pillow should differ depending on what position you sleep in, with different thicknesses and firmness for if you sleep on your back, your front or your side.
Skimping on sleep
You might think that you can survive on only a few hours sleep each night. You wake up in the morning and can get on with your day, so you figure you don’t need any more sleep. But it could turn out that you’re not sleeping enough. Getting enough sleep can help you stay healthy in a lot of ways, from promoting healing and improving your skin to supporting your mental health. If you’re not sleeping enough, it could cause all kinds of problems for you now and later in life. But how do you know if you’re sleeping enough? Chances are, your body will tell you if you’re not getting enough sleep. Some of the signs include gaining wait, suffering bad skin, and even craving junk food.
Missing out on breakfast
Another thing you should try not to miss out on is breakfast. It’s true that it’s the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy you need to start your day off right. Not everyone finds it easy to eat in the morning, but often you just need to find the right time and food. It helps if you don’t wake up feeling groggy, so make sure you’re sleeping enough, and you’re not waking up in the middle of deep sleep. Experimenting with some different breakfast foods can help too, so try out the usual breakfast foods, as well as some wildcards. You don’t have to stick to conventional breakfast food if they don’t appeal to you. It can also be helpful to kickstart your metabolism in the morning with a drink of water.
The way you walk
Your posture as you walk could affect not just your physical health but your mental health too. Apart from causing tension and pain in your shoulders and back, slouching when you walk could make you feel bad too. There’s some suggestion that people who walk hunched over are more likely to think negatively and feel less confident. Of course, the inverse is true as well, so it could be that you’re looking downtrodden as you walk because you’re already not feeling so happy.
Most people are aware that drinking coffee isn’t exactly good for you. It might help you to wake up in the morning or get through the last few hours of your day, but it’s not ideal to use caffeine to keep your energy up. In the short-term, you can end up crashing after the boost your coffee gives you, making you feel tired or jittery. But in the long-term, drinking too much coffee can increase your risk of dying from a range of causes – a study in Mayo Clinic Processes puts the deadly amount at 4 cups of coffee a day (28 each week).
Not wearing sunscreen
In the UK, we’re happy just to see a sunny day. We want to soak up as many of the sun’s rays as we can, and most of us probably don’t think about sun protection unless it’s really hot. But you shouldn’t only put sunscreen on when you’re planning to sunbathe or spend all day in the sun during the summer. Even when it’s overcast, the sun can damage your skin. However, you don’t have to prepare like you’re going to Benidorm every day. If you want to protect your skin, consider a moisturiser or makeup that has an SPF rating and can offer your skin some extra protection.
Cutting out fat or carbs
If you want to lose weight, starting a diet or changing your diet permanently will help you achieve your goals. However, many people decide that they’re going to cut out a food group – usually fat or carbohydrates. While cutting back on these can help you lose weight, it’s not ideal to stop eating either of them altogether. Eating the right fats can help to reduce stress and keep your brain healthy. Cutting down on carbs can be good for losing weight, but you don’t want to do it if you’re planning to put in lots of time at the gym. You need the energy carbs can give you, especially if you’re training hard.
Thinking too much about your health
Finally, while it’s good to live a healthy lifestyle, you can spend too much time thinking about your health. It’s not healthy if it becomes an obsession and you’re constantly thinking about what you should eat or how much you need to exercise each day. Being happy is just as important as being healthy.
You might not realise that you’re damaging your health, but if you have a niggling problem, it could be due to one of your daily habits or lifestyle choices. Some small changes could help you be healthier.