These so-called healthy habits might actually be causing more problems than they solve. The truth is, getting healthy can be an unnerving subject. This is principally true when unrealistic goals lead to a sense of failure. The best plan is to strive for long-term, attainable change. By making small adjustments and changes to your daily routine, getting healthy becomes natural instead of a chore.
Foods and Eating Habits:
- Enhanced water.Many are the times we will use a little faux fruity flavor to up H2O intake. However, flavored water, like Smart Water or even Vitamin Water, can be packed with sugar. Substitute the artificially sweetened water with that infused with actual fruit.
- Granola and granola bars. The belief that granola, made from whole grains can’t be bad might not be true. Granola and granola bars are both filled with calories and will often contain a ton of sugar. The end effect becomes the same as eating a candy bar.
- Protein bars.Same as Granola bars, Protein bars are often ultra-high in calories and sugar. Many bars being sold today contain an insane amount of sugar. Protein bars look healthy but often have up to 30 grams of sugar — which is more than the amount in a lot of candy bars! This is not exactly what the body needs after a hard workout. Your choice should be a healthier high-protein snack
- Vitamins and supplements. Taking vitamins (in pill form) may not have any positive effect on long-term health. Evidence continues to mount that vitamin supplements don’t help most people. Studies have shown that popping a daily multivitamin didn’t ward off heart problems or memory loss, and wasn’t tied to a longer life span. Some studies suggest that high doses of certain vitamins might cause harm. In addition, substituting pills for whole foods may mean missing out on the benefits from other compounds found in the natural sources.
- Light beer. Light-beer doesn’t necessarily mean fewer calories. Instead, many simply have lower alcohol content. While light beer can be lower in alcohol, carbs, and calories, that slightly smaller buzz may cause drinkers to consume even more (and thus more calories) than if drinking heavier beer! Grab a healthier beer in its place, and share up the six-pack between friends.
- “Low-fat” foods. While cutting some fat could help cut weight, You may miss out on some big health benefits from healthy omega-3 fats, such as enhancing brainpower and pulling down the risk of heart disease
- Skipping meals. Skipping meals in most cases rarely saves us any calories in the long haul. Forgoing a meal often results in overeating later on. Instead, choose a healthier lunchtime treat.
- Bottled water.Bottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but laced into plastic bottles are other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disruptors. No one knows for sure what the health outcomes are. Do you really want your body to undergo that experiment?
- Passing on dessert. If really craving that double chocolate brownie at the dessert table, enjoy a generous bite or two instead of going for seconds longer at the dinner buffet line. This could accumulate even more calories.
- Diet soda. Scientists suggest too much of these zero-calories beverages could do as much damage as the sugary stuff. This potentially leads to weight gain and an uncontrollable sweet tooth. Choose to kick the soda completely out of your diet and opt for a healthier choice.
- Juice diets- Juice diets may leave out important nutrients and sufficient calories to keep you strong and energetic throughout the day. You could use a few more fruits and veggies.
- Microwave diet meals– Its way healthier preparing our own meals, without the box and frozen plastic tray as most of these frozen meals are only packed with sodium, while lacking enough calories, veggies and nutrients. For those short on time, try making a large batch of your favorite meal over the weekend and freeze individual portions to eat throughout the week.
Hygiene and Health
- Hot tubs- Hot tubs and Jacuzzis are a one-stop shop for bacteria and germs. They may be super relaxing but you don’t want to get out of there with a rash, do you?
- Antibacterial soap– While many agree hand washing is crucial to avoid getting sick, the growing concern over the safety of antibacterial soaps adds even more suds to an already slippery situation. The main ingredient in most antibacterial soaps, Triclosan, has been linked to disrupted hormone levels, drug resistance, and increased allergies. Regular soap and clean water works just as fine when it comes to staying squeaky clean.
- Brushing right after every meal- Don’t brush for half an hour after eating, to give your saliva time to do its job and neutralize the acid caused by eating and drinking. Before this, your teeth are at their weakest and brushing can damage the enamel.
- Avoiding the sun- Too much sun could cause a nasty sun burn. However, avoiding the sun at all costs may lead to a lack of Vitamin D which is essential for proper muscle and bone Soak up the sun while downing some dairy for a dose of vitamin D. The nutrient is key for healthy bone growth, and proper immune, nerve, and muscle function.
- Daily showers– Could your daily routine be ruining your health? The modern preoccupation with personal hygiene could be to the detriment of our skin. Using piping-hot water combined with harsh soaps can strip the skin of its oils, resulting in dryness, cracking and even infection. If you have a tendency towards dry skin, use a soap-free shower gel or aqueous cream — an emulsifying ointment containing paraffin oils, water and preservative that can be used in place of soap.
- Catching up on sleep- An adequate amount of sleep allows the body to rest and recharge so we’re ready to face the day. It also reduces stress and helps us lose weight. It’s pretty tricky to catch up on sleep lost. So rather than skimping on sleep in order to cash them in later, aim for a solid seven to nine hours a night.
- Sitting up straight- It turns out sitting up stick-straight is bad for the back, researchers say. Your back is best off in a reclining position, which takes pressure off the spinal disks in the lower back, compared to the upright posture that most people consider normal
- Cleaning with disinfecting products- Certain chemicals in disinfecting products could lead to asthma. Simply use a regular cleaning product or detergent without the chemicals instead.
- Only doing cardio- Although it is not bad to do just cardio, it is not ideal. Without weight and flexibility training, you may be less effective at daily tasks, such as carrying groceries or cleaning house, and make yourself more vulnerable to injury.
- Overdoing on crunches– The secret to six-pack abs probably isn’t crunch after crunch. Eat better, eat less, and work out more. Try running some intervals, lifting a few weights, and cleaning up that diet.
- Breathing deeply through the chest-Breathe in, breathe out—simple right? Not so fast. When it comes to exercise, the art of inhaling and exhaling may be a little more complicated than we think. While there isn’t one correct way to breathe on the playing field or while running, the breath should come from the diaphragm (the most efficient breathing muscle)—not the chest.
- Static stretching pre workout– Many people stretch before or after engaging in athletic activity. Usually the purpose is to reduce muscle soreness after exercising (with delayed onset), to reduce risk of injury, or to improve athletic performance. Static stretching, that is holding positions for a certain length of time doesn’t do much to prevent soreness. Do dynamic stretches, like lunges and high knees, instead.
- Lifting machines- Most lifting machines fail to improve muscle imbalance and does not burn as many calories as hitting the squat rack or swinging a kettle bell since they focus on single joint exercises.
- Hitting the gym daily- Spending too much time at the gym leaves little time for muscles—and the mind—to recover. Ensure to get at least one or two days of rest in between work out sessions.