7 Habits Hurting Your Health
You may maintain a healthy diet and regimen that includes no smoking or recreational drugs, but things such as genetics and lack of regular exercise can have a harmful impact on your health. Bottom line, there’s helpful information you might have overlooked, starting with the following:
1. Not Paying Attention to Family Health History
Everyone has age-related health conditions. Your family medical history can frequently point to potential risks before anything develops. Having a risk factor does not mean you will develop a disease, especially if you minimize things within your control such as diet, environmental factors and taking nutritional supplements. This makes it all the more important to understand lifestyle choices you can make to stay healthy.
Glaucoma is one vision-related risk that increases if:
- Either parent has/had glaucoma (20% chance)
- A sibling develops glaucoma (50% chance)
- Diabetes is present (3 times higher risk)
- Corticosteroids are used for medical conditions
2. Missing Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams, screenings and treatments can help glaucoma. This disease is a leading cause of vision loss in the US. Another vision risk is age-related macular degeneration that’s associated with certain genes. Early signs of Macular Degeneration are usually detectable in an eye exam even before the disease starts to affect vision. Your doctor will examine the eye with special lenses, which help to show the interior of the eyeball through the pupil, the opening in the center of the iris through which light rays enter the eye.
Tests for Macular Degeneration include (according to Retina International):
- Acuity tests
- Color testing
- Dark adaptation
- Fluorescein angiogram
Even if you’re not facing either of these conditions, regular exams are important because you may need computer, reading or distance glasses.
The Eye Vitamin
Lutein, a supplement related to vitamin A and beta-carotene, is used to help prevent cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. It’s also used to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, There are lower doses of Lutein, but the 20 mg softgel is a one-a-day supplement, or as directed by healthcare practitioner.
The supplement combined with delicious lutein-rich foods, such as orange pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, corn, kiwi fruit, grapes, zucchini, carrots, cantaloupe, dried apricots, and squash translate into a nutrition-rich powerhouse.
Another possibility is boosting the macular pigments, such as lutein, which have antioxidant properties and may help some people with intermediate or advanced macular degeneration.
3. Not Wearing Sunglasses
When choosing sunglasses, look for UV-protection details on the product labels. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 % of both UVA and UVB rays. Skip sunglasses that neglect to offer details about their UV protection. Keep in mind that the color and degree of darkness sunglasses provide have nothing to do with the ability of the lens to block UV rays. Also, opt for wraparound sunglasses or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses that protect your eyes from every angle.
4. Low Water Intake (Daily)
Can you honestly say that you’re not one of the two-thirds of Americans who don’t consume enough water every day? It’s a much needed source of nutrition for our joints, metabolism, organs and tissues.
Coffee, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol may taste wonderful, but these drinks also serve as diuretics, which cause water loss. Start to change your habits and try for at least 8 to 12 cups of water daily.
If you spend 45 minutes on the treadmill or mowing the lawn on a sunny day, your body needs more water based on your activity.
This one’s for the ladies because the guys will probably just start laughing: Ladies, put your feet up, relax and treat yourself to a beautiful crystal goblet filled with cool water and a few thin lemon slices.
5. Lack of Regular Exercise
For those not at the gym at least three times a week, what are you doing to keep fit? Is it kick boxing, swimming, golf, basketball, or tennis?
Walking to the water cooler for a computer break is highly recommended. However, according to exercise guidelines from Mayo Clinic, a daily plan should include a minimum of 30 minutes of activity. If weight loss is your goal, aim for 300 minutes a week.
If you can’t manage a 30-minutes brisk walk, try smaller units of 10 minutes each. Even without a gym membership, creative alternatives include mall walking and hall walking during the winter for many apartment dwellers.
Hydrate with water!
6. Ignoring Stress
A groundbreaking study about chronic psychological stress led by Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University shows direct relationships between the mind/body reaction to chronic stress and the development and progression of disease. For the first time, results showed chronic stress can devastate the body, which loses its ability to effectively regulate inflammatory responses caused by autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pain, among other diseases. People sometimes ignore stress hoping it will disappear. Along with exercise, other things can help:
- Listening to your favorite music has calming effects
- Make time for a therapeutic massage. (It’s not only a treat for your mind, body, and spirit, it helps relieve tension and pain.)
- Avoid food binges that contribute to blood sugar swings
- Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and wild caught fatty fish
- Premium supplements are essential for a health-smart regimen designed to improve and maintain health. Start with a multiple vitamin and build out from there.
You may need added B vitamins if you’re under a lot of stress, digestive enzymes, or added vitamin D3 if you live in an area with challenging winter weather.
Today, most physicians check D levels when running blood workups, but just in case, ask your doctor to check your D levels. Low D levels is a cause of many health problems.
7. Poor Nighttime Habits
According to an (NSF) National Sleep Foundation survey conducted from 1999-2004, over 58 % of adults report having sleep problems. Furthermore, an even higher percentage of children cope with poor sleep.
Today, there are natural sleep-aid solutions such as Sleep Tonight.
- Maintain a regular time to wind down
- Avoid coffee after 5 PM.
- No electronic devices after 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night.
Awareness is key to combat these tendencies which can harm your health. Habits are our friends—when they’re good ones. Try to slowly make each suggestion into a routine to help you repeat safe and effective behaviors, and build consistency into your life.