It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life that we allow bad habits to slip into our daily routine. We know they’re not good for us, but taking a shortcut here and there seems to help us make it through the day. Although this way of thinking is natural, it’s also short-sighted. Too often, we rob ourselves of long-term health and wellbeing by making poor choices. Here are solutions to eight common health mistakes that you may not even realise you’re (probably) doing right now.
Cut the Caffeine
Coffee. Soda. Energy Drinks. All of these are loaded (and sometimes overloaded!) with caffeine. Caffeine can sometimes be a helpful pick-me-up on a rare occasion, but by drinking too much of it on a daily basis, you’re doing more harm than good.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you drink more than 400mg of caffeine a day, you open yourself up to a host of issues, like migraine headaches, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability. Carefully monitor your consumption, and reduce your caffeine intake if necessary.
Here comes the sun! Do you have your shades ready for the day? Although you may think sunglasses are more about fashion than health, you’d be wrong. You should search for sunglasses that will block out UVA and UVB rays, as well as filtering out most visible light. Although you may not feel the effects of neglecting sunglasses in the short term, you can do considerable damage to your corneas and retinas. In fact, you can even develop cataracts, so keep those sunglasses handy!
Hitting The Snooze Button
You know that you’re supposed to get around 8 hours of sleep a night, but what if you try to extend that by using the snooze button? Although hitting the snooze can feel really good in the moment, you’re likely doing yourself more harm than good. By not giving yourself a consistent sleep cycle, you may end up more tired during the day than if you hadn’t hit the snooze button once…or twice…or three times.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
Typically, we only think about the impact that our teeth have on our appearance, but that’s not all. In fact, your oral health plays a much larger part of your overall well-being than you may realize.
OK, be honest— when was the last time you went to the dentist for your semi-annual exam and cleaning? Have you been brushing twice daily and flossing once a day? It may seem insignificant, but cutting corners with your oral health could cause major problems (and large medical bills) later.
Stop Constantly Self-Diagnosing Your Symptoms
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to turn to the internet for advice about some of the symptoms you’re currently feeling. However, in our culture where the internet has wormed its way into every part of our lives, we can be more comfortable attempting to self-diagnose our issues online instead of visiting our doctor. Sometimes it’s about convenience. Other times, it’s about trust. Honestly, it can even be about saving money! But, there’s no substitute for getting medical examination and treatment from a physician.
Make Workouts Feel Less Like “Work”
Understand, there’s no way you can work out your body without there being some element of work. “No pain, no gain,” is a true statement! Yet, if your workouts feel like going to work, you won’t be motivated to exercise over the long term. That’s why most people start a workout regimen and quit just as quickly— they never learned to love working out. Consider some ways to put the fun back into your workout, and you’ll be glad you did!
Turn Down The Volume
It’s never been easier to listen to your favourite tunes. Just grab your phone and some headphones or earbuds, and you’re all set. One of the most common problems with most earbuds and headphones today is that we have them cranked up far too high.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, noise can become hazardous to our hearing at around 85 decibels. Unfortunately, many headphones can produce sound at an ear-splitting 120 decibels, which can cause long term damage to the eardrums. The solution? Don’t max out the volume when you’re listening to your favourite music, and do your ears a favour by taking a break every hour.
Using Poor Quality Vitamins And Supplements
Maybe you take a daily multivitamin? Drink a protein shake after your workout? Take Vitamin C to keep the sniffles at bay? Don’t forget that just because supplements seem good for your health doesn’t mean that they actually are good for you. Because most supplements aren’t subject to FDA regulations and testing, you could actually be ingesting ingredients that are harmful to your overall health. Make sure you check labels carefully before you make a purchase.
Small Changes Make A Big Difference!
If you’ve allowed some bad habits to slip into your routine, don’t stress. All it takes is some small, incremental changes, and you’ll be on the road to good health in no time!
Tess DiNapoli is a freelance writer and advocate for clean, healthy and balanced lifestyles. She writes about developments in health and wellness, along with natural skincare and beauty products.