Quit These Habits Today For Better HealthMonday, October 24, 2016
We all have our vices, and things we do that aren’t the best for us. They can range from habits to addictions, but often they’ll be bad for health on some level or another. Especially in the long term, and so if you’re looking to improve your lifestyle here are just a few of the ways you can go about achieving better health.
Ever since I was really young, I’ve despised people smoking around me. I remember being as young as about six or seven and being repulsed by the smell, as well as the sight of ashtrays and cigarette ends on the floor. It’s something I’ve never gotten over and to this day it’s something I can’t stand, however on the plus side it means I’ve never had any interest in trying it. We all know the dangers, and so if you’re seriously looking to improve your health then quitting smoking is a good idea. It ages your skin, leads to a whole host of cancers, and since it’s now banned in a lot of places, it’s not exactly a convenient habit to have either. Most GP’s offices have stop smoking clinics and advice. Or you could try a safe, legal medication such as Champix tablets help to stop smoking.
The thing about drinking is you don’t have to be addicted or drink every day to have an issue with alcohol. We’ve all had a few too many on occasion and woke up with a sore head the next day (I spent a good portion of my late teens/ early twenties doing this!) But if this is a common occurrence for you then it could be worth addressing it. Health guidelines suggest women shouldn’t drink more than two units a day. But you can’t ‘save up’ these units and binge on fourteen or more at the weekends. If you’re forever putting too many away on nights out or social functions, maybe try and get the route cause of it. Is it because you’re self-conscious and insecure, so drink to ease the uncomfortable feeling? If it’s due to boredom, arranging other things to do on the weekends that don’t involve clubs, bars or pubs is a good way to cut down your drinking. A planned night out or having one too many now and again probably isn’t going to be too much of an issue. But if it’s every weekend then it will be taking an enormous toll on your body. Plus, do you really want to spend every weekend feeling hungover? It's ok when you're younger, but as an adult I bet you could find much more productive and healthy ways to spend that time rather than dying in bed feeling rough.
Hitting The Snooze Button
‘Just five more minutes’ always seems like a great idea when your alarm rings and you’re not ready to wake up. You probably think you’ll be more prepared the next time it goes off. But let's face it, that’s never the case, is it? That’s because when you snooze your alarm, you’re much more likely to fall into a deeper sleep- making it even more difficult to get up the next time. If you really struggle to get up in the morning, it’s probably because you’re not getting enough sleep. Sorting out your sleeping pattern out is the first thing to try. Secondly, avoid caffeine, particularly in the afternoon. It lasts for a surprisingly long time in the body, so if you find yourself lying awake at night even though you had an early start and should be tired, it could well be that cup of coffee you drank hours ago. As someone that has only recently started drinking coffee I have to be especially careful with this. I find I can get away with one cup when I first wake up, but any more and that will be me awake til late that night. Try switching it to decaff or even better, green tea throughout the day. The final thing to try is avoiding technology (phones, TVs and laptops or anything with a light up screen) for an hour or two before bed. This is because light is a powerful signal to the brain to wake up, and can prevent how your body naturally winds down to sleep.
This is an example of how a relatively minor habit can be detrimental to health. You might not feel up to eating in the morning, but people who skip breakfast often have more weight-related issues than those who don’t. This is because if you don’t eat in the morning, you’re more likely to eat more later in the day. You’re also more likely to give into temptation and make less healthy food choices when you do eventually eat. Plus eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism meaning you burn more calories later on. Even if you can’t stomach a meal, a smoothie is an easy option and will give you a huge nutrient boost too. You could also try yoghurt, a piece of fruit or a low sugar breakfast bar. If you skip breakfast due to time being an issue, try getting up earlier. Or at least packing a breakfast you can eat on the go in a bag. Finding a breakfast that agrees with you is crucial. I used to find that I’d feel sick an hour after eating cereal for breakfast, so know to choose something else.
Living Above Your Means
Overspending is dangerous since it can lead serious debt issues. If you’re using loans and credit cards to buy things you don’t need you’re on a slippery slope. Interest rates are often high meaning you pay a significant amount more back, and as the debt builds you can find yourself in a position where you’re only able to afford the interest. In this case you can be paying a large chunk of money back each month and the debt never goes down since it’s only the interest being paid. And if this is on purchases that you could have done without, it’s most definitely not worth it. The key to living within your means is being in control of your money. Work out exactly what you have coming in and what you have going out- including the dates things need to be paid. You could use a calendar for this or an app. Personally I like to use a notebook. Each month I’ll plan my money for four weeks ahead, deciding what needs to be paid when. When you know what your monthly expenditures are and how much money you’re left with, you can then spend this wisely. Rather than buy the things you want first, and then realise you have too much month at the end of your money!