10 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Health Without Knowing It
It’s incredibly easy to take good health for granted. Yet, it is unlikely that you are intentionally seeking out ways to destroy your health. But while we may not realize it, a couple of our daily habits may end up sabotaging our health.
Health is a very delicate thing. Knowing what habits to quit and which ones to adopt will go a long way to preserve it.
Below are 10 habits you should avoid because there’s a chance they are sabotaging your health.
1. Exposing yourself to too Much Stress
Stress is indeed an almost unavoidable part of life. However, you must find ways to intentionally manage your stress levels.
Stress causes your body to produce hormones and other chemical substances. These substances are produced in very small quantities or not at all under normal conditions.
A hormone called cortisol is one of the major chemicals your body releases in response to stress.
Cortisol can weaken your immune system if it is too much in your blood. So while stress may be unescapable sometimes, there are some easy stress-management habits you can adopt. Doing so will help preserve your health.
Ignoring it is sabotaging your health.
2. Waiting Until You Are Thirsty to Drink Water
How often do your drink water in a day? If this number depends on the number of times you get thirsty in a day, then maybe self-sabotaging without realizing it.
Your body is made up of about 60% water. And, your body loses some of this water every second. Normal processes such as sweating, peeing, and even breathing cause water to escape from your body. It is your job to replace this water as your body loses it.
Thirst is caused by dehydration. This means that when you feel thirsty, your body has already lost more water than it is comfortable with. Your thirst doesn’t necessarily mean you are in any immediate danger. However, losing enough water to make you thirsty will definitely have negative effects on your body’s performance.
To avoid sabotaging your health, you need to take at least 2 liters of water daily.
3. Avoiding All Fats
A lot of us find ourselves going for low-fat substitutes. Skimmed milk instead of whole, fat-free yogurt instead of full-fat. In our minds, fats are basically evil.
It’s true that fats and related substances, like cholesterol, have been linked to cardiovascular diseases.
But that’s not the whole story.
Not all fat is bad. In fact, some types of fat and cholesterol are actually good for your health.
There are lots of foods that are rich in healthy fats. These fats have benefits for your heart, memory, and general well-being.
Take fatty fish for instance. These fish are rich in a type of fat known as Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have several benefits for your body. One important benefit is that taking these fats is one of the many ways to keep your heart healthy.
To avoid all fat completely is to run the risk of sabotaging your health and impacting your body systems negatively.
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4. Eating too Little
Maybe you are under-eating as a weight-loss strategy. Or maybe you’re just too busy throughout the day so you skip a meal or two.
Whatever it is, taking in too little food is sabotaging your health. Your body requires a particular amount of nutrients and calories to function as it should.
When your calorie-intake is insufficient, your body assumes you are starving. Because of this, it goes into ‘survival mode’. During this time, it hoards calories and burns fat more slowly. Your metabolic rate generally decreases. So if your aim is weight-loss, under-eating is not the way to go.
Also, your mind and body require fuel to function properly. You aren’t as productive as you should be when you are under-fed. Make mealtimes a priority in your schedule.
5. Overdosing on Supplements
Vitamins and minerals are invaluable when it comes to the proper functioning of your body. A lot of times, you may not be getting enough of these nutrients from your meals. This is where supplements come in.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be bought over the counter, without any prescription. They are great for you. However, some people tend to take regular mega doses because they believe that the body will take what it needs and dispose of the excess. While this is true, some dangers can result from taking too much of most supplements.
Taking doses that are too much more than what your body requires can be counter-productive. It can sabotage your health instead of giving it the boost you require.
Most supplements have a recommended dosage written on the container they come in. However, you can check with your doctor to be certain.
6. Drinking too Much
Too much alcohol is detrimental to you; both physically and mentally.
Excess alcohol can weaken your immune system. It can lead to irreparable liver damage as well.
The occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer is permitted, and may even be beneficial for you. However, when taken in excess, the disadvantages are several.
7. Use of Antibacterial Products
You’ve probably used an antibacterial cream to treat acne or some other skin issue. Or maybe you have some antibacterial ointment in your first aid kit which you whip out to apply on wounds.
Antibacterial hand wash, face soaps, creams, and ointments are everywhere. Even antibiotic tablets are easy to access and aren’t at all expensive.
However, experts advise that these antibacterial products aren’t always necessary. Actually, they could result in more harm than good.
The more often we use antibacterial products, the higher the tendency for bacteria to develop resistance to these medications. This is known as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR causes bacteria to become harder to treat. In some cases, the bacteria become impossible to kill.
You don’t have to use that antibacterial ointment when you have a minor wound. There are other viable alternatives. In fact, there are natural antibiotics that you may have lying around in your home.
Antibacterial soaps should also be used sparingly. Regular soap kills bacteria just as well without constituting a risk of AMR.
Also, antibiotics are easy to buy over-the-counter. However, you should use them only when you have a prescription from your doctor.
Not getting enough sleep is bad for your health. You are most likely already aware of this. But what most people don’t know is that, so is oversleeping.
The amount of sleep you need depends majorly on your age. For people between the ages of 18 and 64 years, seven to nine hours of sleep is usually sufficient.
Oversleeping has been linked to illnesses such as obesity and depression. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep in once in a while, maybe on weekends. It only becomes a problem when oversleeping is a regular habit for you.
If you find that you constantly need more than nine hours of sleep, it could be because your night sleep is getting disrupted at intervals. It could also be caused by other health-related reasons. The best thing to do will be to check in with your doctor.
9. Not Eating a Balanced-Diet
If you’re on a diet that encourages you to eliminate a particular food group, then you should consider changing diets.
Your body needs all food groups.
A nutritious, well-balanced meal, contains all food groups. So while the amount may vary depending on your preferred diet, you shouldn’t eliminate any food group.
Instead, eat a healthy variety. Some carbs are good and healthful and so are some fats. You can find a way to fit them into your diet.
10. Using Your Phone Before Bed.
If you’re like a lot of people, a lot of your life revolves around your phone. Or maybe your tablet or laptop. Whichever it is, you most likely find yourself looking at a screen for most of the day. And maybe even at night.
While this may be unavoidable, using your phone before bed could be one of the reasons you feel tired a lot.
Experts advise that ‘screen time’ should end at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Doing this will ensure your sleep isn’t wrecked. It will prevent a lot of negative effects that arise as a result of the blue light your gadgets emit.
It isn’t likely that you are engaging in any of these habits intending to sabotage your health. But you definitely will find yourself feeling a lot better if you keep these habits in check.