Contributed by-Dr. Snehal Singh
None of us are perfect. Everyone has faults and all of us are prone to bad habits. We often ignore them to an extent that they become the very part of us and start defining us. A lot has been spoken about good habits for better health. Learning better ways of inculcating healthy habits is indeed good. But what about the bad habits you already practice?
Have you thought about how your bad habits affect your health?
Yes, your bad habits can have a great impact on your health – so it is important to know the affects of bad habits. Controlling your bad habits will not only help you live healthy but will make you a better person as well. Here is a list of common bad habits that you must consider revising for better health:
Too much of phone use
How often do you check your phone? Did you know that using too much of your mobile can affect your health adversely?
Technology has indeed made our life really easy and has made world a small place as we can connect with whomever we want whenever we want. It is impossible to imagine our life without our mobiles but it is also true that we have become slaves of modern day gadgets. We are so accustomed to our mobile phones that it has become a necessity for our survival. For most of us, our phones are the first thing we check in the morning and also the last before going to sleep.
Do you suffer from sleep problems, increased stress levels, reduce attention span and poor posture? Your dear phone might be the culprit. Your phones, laptops and other gadgets are for your convenience, do not let them rule you. Try avoiding too much of phone use, rather get involved in conversations with your family and friends or try reading a book.
Biting your nails
Do you bite or chew your nails as a habit? It might seem harmless but is really bad for your health. Nail biting is a very common habit which can invite plenty of germs.
Your nails often carry germs, which when put into the mouth can bring on various infections like flu, jaundice, typhoid etc, which spreads through the oral route and can make you sick. Besides, it can also damage your teeth and lovely nails. Avoid nail biting to maintain good health. Also, if you have this habit due to stress, you need to find better ways of coping with stress.
Listening to loud music
Music is such a beautiful way of life. We do not just listen to music we live with it in all our emotions. Is it not a part of all our joys, sorrows and celebrations? But listening to loud music can be distressing to your ears and can lead to hearing disorders.
Keeping the volumes high can be dangerous. Particularly when using headphones, if the sound is high, it can irritate the nerves and can trigger headaches too. Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to loud noise, particularly due to improper use of headphones and earphones can cause hearing loss. Be careful when you increase the music volume next time. Enjoy music but do not make it a displeasure for your ears and others.
No matter how busy you are or how health conscious you are, the habit of skipping meals is surely not a good thing to do. Eating on time is as important as eating healthy meals.
A hearty breakfast will keep you happy and energetic throughout the day. Longer gaps between meals due to skipping can negatively affect your hormones, immunity, mood, metabolism and overall health. Instead healthy, smaller meals can boost your metabolism, help in weight management and maintain hormone balance. Begin your meals with a healthy breakfast and have other meals on time as well. Skipping meals is a very bad idea, don’t do it.
Eating too much
Do you often eat more than your stomach allows you? Overeating is not at all wise, it will not only make you fatter but also make you unhealthy.
Eating too much and binge eating will surely create more health problems, even if it is healthy food. You need just the right calories and nutritional intake to maintain good health. If you eat more than what your body needs, be it any type of food, it can result in weight gain. It can also invite other health problems like indigestion and bloating. However, eating too much can also be a sign of underlying disorders like diabetes or hormonal problems. So, check your risk for diabetes and thyroid problems and seek medical advice, if needed. Plan your diet properly, keep a check on your portion size and have balanced meals. Think of the harmful affects before you over eat the next time and try to avoid it.
Do you often eat your meals while watching television or doing some other work? Stop doing it as eating without giving any attention to your food can be really bad for your health. Eating is not just a pleasurable experience but also a very important part of our daily survival; it should not be mixed with any other activity. Chewing your food properly is also important.
The habit of eating thoughtlessly, for example, eating while watching television or surfing the net, snacking on junk too often etc. can be harmful. Also eating in a hurry is a common habit which does not give you the satisfaction of eating. You can end up eating more, gaining weight and further increase your risk of diabetes, heart problems and stroke. Hence, make mealtimes more fun by focusing on your food and live a healthy life.
Drinking less water
Since childhood all of us have been advised to drink more water, after all it is the essence of life. We can not even think about surviving without water. Water has numerous health benefits. Staying hydrated helps to keep your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. Keeping up with your fluids helps your skin stay supple, your body cools down when it is hot, allows your muscles and joints to work better and helps clean toxins from your body via your kidneys.
Not drinking enough water is not only a bad habit but also a major health risk. It can increase the risk of dehydration, can easily trigger headaches and migraine. It can also cause constipation and digestive problems, dry skin, fatigue and irritability. Inadequate water intake is also linked with kidney problems like kidney stones, urinary infections and overall kidney functioning. If you have the habit of drinking less water, you are more prone to various health risks. Change the habit now and begin drinking plenty of water to stay healthy. Our nutritionist advises 10-12 glasses which equals around 3 liters as the minimum water required to stay hydrated.
Sitting for long hours
Don’t be a couch potato!
Sitting inappropriately and for long hours are both bad health habits. Being inactive for long increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Inappropriate posture can also add to the problems resulting in muscle strain, neck pain and backache. So, make it a point to maintain proper posture when sitting, standing or lifting weights and avoid sitting for long hours; be active throughout the day. Take small breaks during work, do not use car for smaller distance, go for walks daily. Remember, small changes can make a really big difference in your health status.
Sleep is how your body relaxes and prepares for a fresh new day. Lack of sleep will turn you into a zombie. Sleeping less is a health risk that can invite health issues like weight gain, impaired immunity, excessive stress, lack of concentration and irritability.
Inadequate sleep can affect your health in many ways, cause hormonal imbalance, affect healing and also aggravate pain conditions. While sleep needs vary from person to person, having adequate sleep at night is important for all. So in matter how busy you are do not compromise on your health. Good nights sleep is answer to a lot of health problems and a healthier you.
Staying alone or aloof
Everybody wants to stay alone at some time or other but being alone or all by yourself always can affect your emotional and physical health in many ways. Having more people in your group or talking to people at work is not enough. There are many instances when a person is in touch with others yet feels alone from within. Such situations can lead to depression and other mental anxieties. In a lot of cases it can also lead to suicides.
It is necessary to interact with colleagues, friends and family. Try using your hobbies as your way out, join various classes or clubs which will not only make you busy but will also make you feel good. It is about feeling connected to yourself and to those around you to be emotionally stable and enjoy better health. Life is such a precious gift do not waste it away. Understand your worth and do not give up on life no matter what.
Do it yourself concept is really fun and productive for various home decor hacks but it can be really harmful when it comes to self treatment. Stop playing the doctor even in case of minor health issues, you might end up regretting it.
The habit of self-medication is a major concern. Self-medication can result in consuming inappropriate or larger doses than advised and cause adverse effects. Studies have shown that over use of pain killers can increases the risk of gastrointestinal and bleeding problems. Consumption of the wrong medicine can also lead to death in several cases. Consult your physician for any medical concerns or for medication and follow medical advice. Save your doctor’s phone number and call him in case of any confusion. Let the doctor do his job, self treatment is a complete NO.
Are you a smoker? Do you occasionally enjoy a puff or two? It is needless to say that you are at making yourself more susceptible to several health risks caused due to smoking and tobacco use.
We all know that smoking kills. Still a majority of population indulgences in smoking and chewing tobacco on a daily basis. Even occasional smoking or smoking just on cigarette in a day can cause clots in your blood. The clots can develop plaques in the arteries which will prevent smooth flow of blood. There are so many harmful effects of smoking like cancer, lung problems, breathlessness etc. It is not just the smokers the who suffer but their family also falls prey to the effects of this horrible habit. Say no to smoking it can do no good.
These are just a few bad habits, there may be many more bad habits unknowingly ruling your life. It is important to analyse such habits and curb them right away. Get hold of your bad habits before they get you. Assess your health risks with early blood tests and take the right action now. Remember, timely medical advice and lifestyle corrections can help. Do not let your bad habits be the master of you, control them before they cause serious damage to your health.
Quit your bad habits now and live healthy.
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